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Three days with the seven-league boots of steam and 
the giant stride of railways would have sufficed to 
convey me to the utmost verge of the beaten track of 
continental tours, and I hoped to have reached in that 
short space of time a favourable starting-point for a 
projected excursion in the provinces of Austria which 
are least known, and afterwards through the Danubian 
Principalities to other parts of the Turkish Empire. 
I had already on a previous occasion made that rapid 
journey, in which the towns of Brussels, Aix-la-Chapelle, 
Cologne, Munster, Minden, Hanover, Brunswick, Mag- 
deburg, Berlin, Eranckfort ,on the Oder, Breslaw, and 
Vienna, appear and disappear somewhat after the fashion 
of the milestones which succeeded each other so quickly 
when the American was riding his trotter, that he calcu- 
lated he was in a graveyard ; and I fully expected again 
to witness the practical fulfilment of the German seer's 

VOL. I. B 


prediction, which announced in 1750 that before another 
century should have elapsed, enormous black serpents 
would be seen rushing over the country with prodigious 
velocity, snorting and roaring like wild beasts, and 
emitting flames from their mouths and nostrils as fiery 
dragons did of old ; but I was fated to travel in a 
manner less consistent with the fast spirit of the present 
age ; for all my plans were upset when I was on the point 
of putting them in execution, and I was induced to make 
a radical change in my marcheroute. Instead of racing 
through the enlightened countries of Belgium and 
Northern Germany, I therefore soon found myself slowly 
traversing the benighted regions of France; which, in 
spite of her boasted position in the vanguard of progress 
and improvement, are in fact much behind the other 
states of Europe, in as far as civilization can be tested by 
iron roads and horseless vehicles, or by the prosperity 
and stability of their social and political condition either, 
be it said by the way. The roads were bad enough in 
all conscience : far from resembling what the great lines 
of communication in the nineteenth century generally 
are, they would have been a disgrace to the Departemetit 
des Fonts et CJiaussees, even in the days of St. Louis ; 
not only was there nothing of iron about them, but the 
metal, as it has been called since the time of the great 
Macadam, with which it had^ been constructed, was both 
soft and scanty ; and, as for the horses and the vehicles, 
they were altogether worthy of each other ; the former 
heavy, slow, and imperturbable: the latter, facetiously 
called diligences, as if the substantive, with which, of all 
others, they had the least apparent affinity, had been 


ironically selected for their especial designation. The 
change from the monopoly of the coiipee of this species 
of conveyance to that of the Italian veloci/eri, tended 
rather to raise the French locomotive machines in my 
estimation than otherwise ; for the ambitious appellation 
of the public carriages of Piedmont and Lombardy could 
be relative only to the huge two-wheeled carts, laden 
with goods and drawn by a long line of some six or 
seven gigantic mules, which are to be met with in such 
numbers on the straight and level roads of those coun- 
tries ; and a marked contempt for speed, with an equal 
disregard for the value of time, seemed to increase in 
the provision made for the transport of wayfarers as I 
advanced towards the south-eastern parts of Europe. 

Another phasis in the fast declining existence of stage- 
coaches arose for my inspection when I entered the 
German territory of the Austrian Empire ; and here their 
peculiar idiosyncrasy was better expressed by the sound 
at least of their denomination, for in a schnellwagen 
was represented the most lively image of the snail wagon 
which could well be contrived. The phlegmatic deport- 
ment of the equipages, to which we were consigned as 
we approached the frontiers of Hungary, raised many a 
merry laugh in our little party ; and of a truth it was 
most amusing to observe the systematic sluggishness of 
everything. about them: — methodical slowness pervaded 
all the movements of the grave teams with their heavy 
trot, and the dignified postboys, most of whom were well 
stricken in years ; — it appeared to have been imparted 
to the very wheels, especially when the drag was kept 
on in ascending a short way after a long descent, in 

B 2 


order to save the trouble of replacing it at the top of the 
next hill, which eccentric and iinlogical manoeuvre v^^as 
frequently repeated, to the evident dissatisfaction of the 
horses, as the well-worn whip-lashes sufficiently attested. 

They were no ordinary quadrupeds either, these same 
post-horses ; and though denied the gift of speech, with 
which a less noble beast of burden reproved its master, 
Balaam, they certainly were endowed with a degree of 
reason adequate to the task of appreciating the manners 
of their respective Jehus ; for they sometimes displayed 
the most unequivocal disapprobation of the proposal that 
they should- forward us a stage on our journey, by 
doggedly returning to their mangers when they were 
left standing before the stable for the purpose of being 
harnessed. The irate scliwager — ^for by a singular 
custom, German postilions are always addressed as the 
brothers-in-law of those whom they drive — would then 
bring them out again, one by one, with lusty kicks from 
his heavy boots, and uncouth curses in the guttural 
tones of his deep bass voice ; and we would at last 
resume our course with as much of consequential solem- 
nity as could conveniently be assumed by the lumbering 
vehicle, the thick-legged and short-necked horses, and 
their equestrian statue- like driver, who all seemed to 
have deluded themselves into the belief that they were 
travelling uncommonly fast, at five miles an hour. 

We were not always, however, passengers in public 
coaches, for we made a luckless experiment on the 
beautifully picturesque road which leads round the foot 
of the Maritime Alps from Nice to Genoa, where we fell 
into the hands of the vetturini, those Philistines of Italy. 


It was a complete failure : we advanced more slowly than 
ever, we were cheated and pillaged on all sides, and the 
sum of our ignominy was fulfilled in the degrading sale 
of our persons and baggage by one vetturino to another 
for the paltry amount of ten francs. We had entertained 
a higher estimate of our intrinsic w^orth and moveable 
property,, and our indignation knew no bounds : in our 
WTath we even lost sight of an honest regard for our 
signature to the bond, which we violently cancelled, 
and we returned to our hated velocifero, shorn of our 
illusions, and enriched with experience as continental 
travellers. The vetturino, nevertheless, w^as not without 
his merits, the greatest of them being the privilege of 
resting at night. After a long day's journey, we were 
sure of enjoying that sound sleep which is earned only 
by bodily fatigue ; sound, but light ; for it was merely 
physical repose that was required, and the mind was still 
awake, travelling onwards, climbing hills and crossing 
rivers with inexplicable facility, as if the resistance of 
matter had been annihilated ; and during the renovating 
prostration of the body, the spirit was active, its vigorous 
efforts being checked only by the fear of awaking. 

To sleep, and to retain the consciousness of being 
asleep, is one of the most enviable conditions which a man 
can find himself in, when exhaustion has rendered him 
incapable of enjoying the exercise of his faculties, and 
dreamless slumbers are a loss of time in his life, depriving 
him of the sense of existence during a given number 
of the few hours he has to live, without renewing his 
energies for the possession of the remainder more efiec- 
tually than is accomplished by the delightful surrender 


of his person to that species of thoughtful somnolency, 
in which his bed appears to he made of rose-leaves, his 
pillow to have been smoothed by angels' hands, and his 
inn to be a resting-place in paradise after the weary, 
jolting, jogging, flogging, cheating, selling process of the 
great vetturino, human life. 

Amongst the redeeming qualities of our Genoese 
coachman, must also be numbered that of his being a 
musician; he was a very Mario among the vetiurini ; 
and, as he urged his sorry nags along, he would warble 
in a fine tenor voice the " a consolarei affretissi il giorno 
desiatoj" of Linda di Chamouni with an ar;peggio accom- 
paniment of whip-cracking, most skilfully executed. We 
participated with considerable enthusiasm in the senti- 
ment and moral of his song, but neither the " desiato 
giorno " of our arrival nor the vetturino and his horses 
seemed to advance one whit the .more on that account. 
We were also fated to taste the sweets of railway travel- 
ling, but, like the repasts of the poor little scholars at 
Dotheboys Hall, we only enjoyed them enough to make 
us wish for more. It was between Verona and Venice ; 
and, however favourable must necessarily appear the 
change from vetttirini and velociferi to steam, we could 
not help remarking that this railway was worse managed 
than any of those we had seen in England, Belgium, 
France, Germany, and even at Naples. There were no 
porters, the stations were ill constructed, indications 
were not provided for the information of those who did 
not know where to go for their tickets or to find the 
waiting-room ; and when any one did go wrong (as who 
would not?) a lazy official met him with an insolent 


reproof, instead of civilly putting him right. Thus, between 
French, Italian, and German stage-coaches, Piedmontese 
vetturmi, and a short interval by steam on land, as well 
as another on the Adriatic in crossing from Venice to 
Trieste, we reached the small town of Eiume in Croatia, 
where we stopped to take breath, for it was the first 
place we saw which was new to us,* as it will probably be 
to most of my readers, if I ever have any. 

Our journey hitherto had been dull and uninteresting 
on account of the want of that great attraction, novelty, 
although it cannot be denied that we enjoyed exceedingly 
the casual glimpses of delightful scenery and remarkable 
towns which were arrayed before us ; and notwithstand- 
ing our premeditated susceptibility of being amused by 
everything that was capable of exacting merriment, we 
found little to enliven the tedium of our long pilgrimage. 
Trifling diversions to its monotony were, however, occa- 
sionally afforded us ; and for them we were principally 
indebted to logical Custom-house officers, and reasoning 
examiners of passports, whose consequential stupidity 
sometimes compensated in matter for ridicule the incon- 
veniences they entailed. The sciences of fiscal and 
political administration were indeed singularly illustrated 
by some of the interrogations which were gravely put to 
us : for instance, we had much difficulty in understanding 
the real motive and gist of the question, whether there 
were any salt hams or foreign cheeses in our carpet-bags 
and dressing-cases, which was addressed to our coach- 
man at the gate of Genoa, for we could not doubt that 
some deep and mysterious meaning must be couched 
under the plain text of the official query; and our 


astonisliment was excited by tlie singular nature of the 
information which it was frequently required that we 
should supply with regard to our private circumstances 
in general, and the object of our present journey in par- 
ticular ; while the most wild and incoherent statements, 
produced by apparently inexplicable distortion of our 
replies, were formally recorded in the archives of several 
of the different States which we traversed, and will 
probably remain as everlasting monuments of British 
eccentricity, thus unduly ascribed to us. 

At Milan, a dirty looking douanier opened a copy of 
one of Proudhon's most abominably subversive and 
democratical publications, which happened to be among 
my books, and asserted that he was well acquainted with 
that very harmless work, adding that after such a speci- 
men of my travelling library, he could confidently take 
upon himself to answer to his superior for the innocuous 
character of the few volumes in my portmanteau; he 
then held out his hand to me for the wonted zwanziger^ 
which however did not drop into it as he expected ; for 
I took the liberty of laughing in his face as I locked 
my trunks on the declaration of the head officer that 
they might enter the capital of Austrian Italy without 
further impediment. The opening of one's luggage 
and the producing of one's passport half a dozen times 
a day are most aggravating, as they are not only trouble- 
some and to a certain degree expensive, which latter 
result seems to be the only real utility of these absurd 
systems, by serving to levy a tax on foreigners, their 
avowed objects being evidently illusory, because those 
who smuggle never carry the prohibited goods where the 


search is usually made, and those who have a motive 
for concealment are always the most satisfactorily pro- 
vided with regular documents ; — but these inflictions 
suffered by strangers on the continent frequently entail 
serious inconveniences in obliging them to alter their 
plans for the purpose of obtaining the necessary signa- 
tures. We paid our tribute in trouble, in money, and 
in inconvenience : for besides imdergoing the customary 
formalities in all their vexatious repetitions and minute- 
nesses, we were obhged to travel thirty miles out of our 
way to get to the visa of the Austrian Consul at Genoa, 
without which we could not have been received in Lom- 
bardy, and which could not be procured in any other 
town through which we passed. 

We arrived at Fiume, at an early hour in the morning. 
We were in a state of complete demoralization, having 
spent a most fatiguing night in a coach. All our ardour 
and impatience to explore the first Hungarian town 
which we should reach, had disappeared under the inex- 
orable exigencies of exhausted nature, and, before any of 
us were many minutes older, we were each comfortably 
extended on our beds, and fast asleep. The day was 
already far spent, and I was still in that delectable state 
of half-forgetfulness which retains alone the sense of 
well-being without rendering a very distinct account of 
the source whence it arises : I rejoiced in the cessation 
of jolting, and I wondered whether it was that the roads 
were unusually devoid of ruts, that the springs of the 
carriage had become singularly yielding by some happy 
process, or that the changing of horses was taking 
an unwonted length of time to effectuate; but I was 



suddenly aroused by the embarrassing question from my 
companion, if my note-book had been enriched by a 
plentiful harvest of poetical descriptions of Piume and of 
practical remarks on its wants and resources. I had as 
yet seen nothing of Fiume but the four walls of the room 
in the hotel at which we had ahghted, and not even that 
with both eyes open at once, I believe ; I disarmed all 
criticism by a frank avowal of my weakness, which I 
found to my great satisfaction had been fully shared ; ^ 
and we proceeded on our first voyage of discovery in the 
unknown land whose frontier we had crossed at last. 

The town of Fiume is situated in a narrow dell en- 
closed by gigantic cliffs, where the river Piumara falls 
into the gulf of Quarnero, and forms a small port at its 
mouth. The water being shallow, the latter can receive 
only vessels of light draught, and larger ships are obliged 
to anchor in the roadstead. We saw a great many of all 
sizes ; several were on the stocks, and trade seemed to 
be active. Timber from the forests of Croatia, and grain 
from the plains of Bosnia, are, as I was told, the prin- 
cipal articles of export ; and Fiume is considered to be a 
position of some importance to the commercial interests 
of Hungary, to which country it was annexed in the year 
1777, by the Empress Maria Theresa, out of gratitude 
for the support she received from her Magyar subjects 
in her adversities. It was three times taken possession 
of by the French, in 1797, 1805, and 1809, having 
remained in the hands of the Hungarians during the 
intervals between their short periods of occupation ; and 
at the peace of Vienna it was allowed to continue 
attached to France. Four years later the town was 


bombarded by the English, who expulsed its foreign 
masters, and after a couple of months, the banner of the 
Austrian eagle again floated over it. Count Nugent, 
an Irish gentleman now holding the rank of Field 
Marshal in the service of the House of Hapsburgh, and 
generally considered as a distinguished officer, was then 
made Governor of Fiume, but he was soon driven out of 
it by the French ; they lost it in their turn a short time 
afterwards, and finally, at the conclusion of the con- 
tinental war in 1815, it was secured to Austria. The 
Emperor Francis I. restored it, in 1822, to his Kingdom 
of Hungary, to which it has ever since continued to 
belong. Notwithstanding these vicissitudes, the place 
has steadily advanced in mercantile prosperity, the 
population has increased to 12,000, and several manu- 
factories have been established, among which extensive 
works for sugar-refining and paper-making are the most 

The town is divided into two distinct portions, the 
more ancient of which is composed of a number of 
wretched houses, huddled together in narrow winding 
lanes on the slopes of the hill which stretches down 
towards the sea ; and the other, which seems to be the 
fashionable quarter, the Faubourg St. Germain, or West- 
end of Fiume, lies along the sea-shore in broad and 
handsome streets, on either side of which we noticed 
dwellings that might almost be styled palaces, stately 
churches, a theatre, good shops, coffee-houses, and 
hotels. One of the most aristocratical residences which 
we remarked, was flanked by a line of short pillars of 
stone, each of them bearing a sculptured head repre- 


senting the noble ancestors of its proprietor, whose 
family-portraits were thus displayed in the street, instead 
of being suspended in its halls. Some wore Hungarian 
caps ; one, a cardinal's hat ; and others, helmets ; while 
several busts of females were carved with necklaces, ear- 
rings, and braided hair. 

A broad quay covers the beach, and double rows of 
shady platanus and poplar-trees form an agreeable walk 
along the harbour, whose forest of masts, bare and 
slender, rise in striking contrast to the dense foliage on 
the growing timber. Straight stems of mountain-pine 
were lying about in process of transformation into spars, 
under the sharp axes of ship-carpenters ; and bands of 
women were sitting with their busy needles intent on 
sewing enormous sails ; all singing merrily as they pHed 
their respective implements. 

The promenade terminates in a public garden of con- 
siderable beauty, on the banks of the river, where the 
Austrian officers of the garrison idle away their time, the 
children of the rich merchants romp and play, and pretty 
Hungarian nursery-maids strive in vain to keep their 
attention undivided between the little boys entrusted to 
their charge, and those of riper years who follow their 
vocation for conquest on this peaceful field. When we 
reached the other end of the walk, we perceived the 
ruins of a castle, high perched on the summit of a pre- 
cipitous cliff overhanging the town. This looked like 
something worthy of further scrutiny on the part of 
inquisitive travellers, but we reflected that it might be 
well to endeavour to obtain some information on the 
subject, before taking the trouble of climbing the rock. 


I therefore accosted a person of respectable appearance 
who was passing, and requested him to tell me what that 
castle was. The single word, Tersatto, was all that I 
could ehcit from him, and we were still almost as far as 
ever from the attainment of the object desired. 

We returned to the town ; and seeing a bookseller's 
shop, we entered it to enquire if anything had ever been 
pubhshed with regard to the Castle of Tersatto. The 
bookseller seemed to be a character in his way. He was 
a little old man, excessively thin and negligent in his 
dress, and of most forbidding aspect withal. He made 
no reply, nor did he raise his eyes from a musty folio 
when I addressed him. I supposed he was deaf, and I 
repeated my interrogation in a louder tone. He rose 
from his stool in a peevish and querulous manner, and 
commenced turning over a heap of what appeared to be 
the rubbish of years, lying in a dark corner of the shop. 
I concluded that I had not succeeded in making our wish 
intelligible in German, and that the quaint little old man 
paid no attention to us. An attempt at conversation in 
the Hungarian or in the Croatian dialect being altogether 
beyond the Hmits of my wildest ambition, I determined 
on trying my repulsive bookseller with ItaHan. 

He then emitted a sort of growl, which I understood 
to be meant for the words, Ja, Ja ; and he continued his 
search without taking any further notice of us, while we 
waited patiently for its result. At last he approached 
and put into my hand, not a traveller's guide-book, as 
we expected, nor a showy pamphlet such as is usually 
edited by speculators on the curiosity of strangers in 
places of local interest, but a queer old German quarto. 


bound in vellum, covered with dust, torn, and mucli dis- 
coloured. On looking at the title-page, I ascertained 
that it was a full and particular account of the criminal 
trial and capital punishment of Count Prangipani, with 
the last speech and confession of the same, printed at 
Vienna in the year of our Lord 1671. 

"And what has all this to do with the ruin on the 
hill?" I inquired of the bookseller, who had resumed 
his stool and his studies. 

" All that is, why it is a ruin,'' he answered, without 
looking up. 

" Did the Castle belong then to Count Frangipani? '' 

" Ja, Ja." 

" And what was his crime ? '' I asked. 

" Kossuth's ; " he replied, with Spartan laconism. 

" What is the price of this old book? " 

"It is not for sale." 

" Why did you show it then ? " 

" You did not ask to buy a book on Tersatto." 

There he was right, for I had merely inquired if any 
such existed. I presumed that his refusal to sell it was 
a stratagem to enhance the value of his merchandise, and 
I still hoped to gain possession of it ; but he soon put a 
stop to my endeavours to negotiate by declaring that he 
would not give it for its weight in gold, as he believed it 
to be almost unique, and to be one of the most valuable 
among his literary curiosities. I then requested him to 
allow me to sit in his shop for an hour or two for the 
purpose of examining the book ; and to this proposal he 
acceded by another Ja, Ja, uttered in a tone of undis- 
guised impatience to terminate our dialogue. 



I found that the Castle of Tersatto occupied the site 
of the ancient town of Tarsatica, which is mentioned by 
Pliny and Ptolemy, and had been the feudal seat of the 
Counts Frangipani, the last of whom had headed a 
revolt of the Magyars against their government, and had 
forfeited his life on the scaffold in consequence, while his 
property had been confiscated. 

The bulk of it did not ultimately fall to the Crown, 
however -, for a Franciscan convent, founded by the 
family close to the gate of the castle, produced a deed 
of donation which enriched the monks, notwithstanding 
that they belonged to a mendicant order, and that they 
had taken the vow of poverty as well as of seclusion from 
the world. The government did not dispute the right of 
the holy fraternity, and the castle alone remained in the 
possession of the Emperor. 

I thanked the eccentric owner of the quarto, and we 
left his shop to make preparations for a pilgrimage to 
Tersatto, which was finally arranged for the following 

We were up betimes ; and after a hasty breakfast, 
we followed a winding road that led by an almost 
imperceptible ascent, to the heights behind the town. 
When we arrived at Tersatto, we found a person in the 
service of Count Nugent, who told us that the seignorial 
castle had been granted to his employer a few years ago 
by the Emperor, for the purpose of conferring on him 
the rank of an Austrian noble ; and having expressed 
our wish to inspect the ruins, we were ushered tlirough 
the ancient portal with great civility by this modern 
seneschal. He informed us that the gallant Field Marshal 


rarely visited his feudal fief of Tersatto, whicli he had 
no intention of rendering habitable during his Hfe, 
but that he had resolved on making it his last resting- 
place. A vault was then shown us, where the future 
Nugents of the Austrian branch will be gathered, not to 
all their fathers, but to those who have founded this new 
lineage of an old family. The grotto was hewn in the 
solid rock, and our guide said that it had been con- 
structed to serve as a dungeon in the time of the 
Trangipani; but, as a subterranean staircase, upwards 
of six hundred feet in depth, descended to the river, it 
appeared to be more probable that the vault had been 
used as a place of safety in extreme danger, whence a 
secret outlet was provided ; or as a magazine for storing 
provisions which were introduced by the hidden passage 
during a siege. It was yet untenanted ; but the mortal 
remains of one of the Nugents were waiting in a tower 
of the castle to be finally deposited in it ; for the body 
of a nephew of the Field Marshal, who was killed at 
Brescia, where he held the rank of an Austrian Major- 
Ceneral in the late war with the Italians, had been 
conveyed hither for interment. Immediately over the 
vault, and in the centre of the court-yard, a small chapel 
was being erected. It was in the Doric style of archi- 
tecture, with four columns supporting a pediment. One 
of the round towers had been converted into a museum, 
in which several admirable specimens of ancient sculp- 
ture, collected in Italy by Count Nugent, were tastefully 
arranged in rows of statues, bas-reliefs, and inscriptions. 
The remainder of the castle was quite dismantled, but 
several stairs had been restored in order to render every 


part of it accessible ; and, the open spaces being laid out 
in flower-plots, the whole constituted as picturesque a 
ruin as can well be imagined. 

The view from it was magnificent : in front lay the 
town ; beneath, the deep dell, through which the Eiu- 
mara flows, presented an aspect of singular beauty; and 
a wide expanse of sea extended in the distance to the 
islands of the Quarnero, which bounded the horizon, 
with open intervals where the blue waters of the Adriatic 
stretched out as far as the eye could reach. The two 
Lossini, Cherso, Yeglia, Arbe, Prossina, Unie, and an 
infinity of small rocks scarcely inhabited, form an archi- 
pelago of isles and islets, divided by narrow channels : 
wooded and green, they basked in the bright rays of the 
noontide sun, which sparkled on the clear surface of the 
liquid mirror around them ; and the white specks that 
glided along in different directions, added a charm to the 
prospect by attesting that life and activity were there in 
the busy coasting-trade of Fiume. Veglia, the largest of 
the Quarnero islands, had been a feudal possession of the 
Prangipani, and the entire population assumed the deep- 
est mourning for the melancholy and patriotic death of 
the last of their lords ; black was the only colour worn 
by either sex, and it became a fashion of the place which 
has never been discontinued to the present day, although 
the memory of the object of grief has long since died 
away. Cherso and Ossero lie so near to each other, 
that at one point they are united by a bridge like that 
of the Euripus, between Euboea and Bceotia ; and the 
same phenomenon of the varying levels of the water in the 
channel that exists at Chalcis, is visible also here. This 

VOL. I. c 


was the scenf* of the crime of fratricide, which the 
infamous Medea committed on the person of her brother 
Absyrtus, whose body she cut in pieces and threw out to 
be devoured by birds of prey, when she fled with Jason ; 
and the town of Ossero was called Absirtion, by the 
ancient Greeks, in commemoration of the innocent victim 
of that monster of atrocity, who betrayed every duty and 
affection of human nature. 

On the southern coast of the Quarnero, at a considerable 
distance, may be seen the town of Segna, whose history is 
singular : it was founded by the Galli Senoni, and it then 
belonged to the ancient Japidia. In the sixteenth century 
the Emperor Ferdinand assigned it as a refuge for the 
celebrated buccaneers, known by the name of Uscoh, who 
had rendered him efficient service in his war with the 
Turks, and it soon became a nest of freebooters, to 
which the outlaws of the neighbouring states repaired. 
But the Republic of Venice, whose trade suffered by 
their piracies, commenced a systematic persecution of 
the Segnani, and the latter claimed the protection of the 
House of Austria ; a sanguinary war ensued ; and, after 
two years of hard fighting, a peace was concluded, on 
condition that the Uscoh should be expelled from 
Segna, and their boats destroyed. We bestowed half-an- 
hour on a sketch of this extensive panorama from the 
court-yard of the Castle of Tersatto ; and then we pro- 
ceeded to the Franciscan Convent. 

On reaching the church of Our Lady of Tersatto, we 
were accosted by a monk who spoke German : I re- 
quested permission to see the religious establishment, 
and he at once offered himself as our cicerone. As we 


soon convinced ourselves that the building could lay but 
httle claim to our attention on the grounds of archi- 
tectural merit, we entered the church, and there the 
brother conducted us to see the miraculous image which 
makes it venerated in the country. Two small brass 
doors above the principal altar were opened, and, after 
ascending half-a-dozen steps, we saw the picture. The 
only parts of it now distinguishable are the faces of the 
Virgin and Child, the rest being covered with a plate of 
silver, and studded over with innumerable jewels and 
trinkets, which were ea^ voto offerings. They were not 
badly painted, as far as could be judged in their faded 
state ; for the colours had disappeared, and nothing re- 
mained but light and shade ; and they had attained that 
satisfactory condition so much affected by amateurs, 
when they subject the works of modern art to a course 
of premature old age in the kitchen chimney. We were 
triumphantly informed that this was the only true and 
genuine production of the pencil of St. Luke the Evange- 
list ; and one of the frescoes in the church represented 
the Beloved Physician in the act of taking the portrait 
of the Virgin Mary with the Infant Saviour in her arms, 
which, to say the least of it, was a gross anachronism. 

A hermitage, according to the legend, was once 
established on the Monte della Guardia, near Bologna 
in Italy, by Azzolina, a daughter of the family of Guezi, 
to which the hill belonged. She built a small chapel 
and dedicated it to St. Luke. Seventeen years later, a 
hermit of Greece, by name Theocles, visited the Church 
of St. Sophia at Constantinople, in compHance with 
injunctions received by divine inspiration. He saw this 



image in the Basilicon, and, after worshiping it, he read 
these words written beneath it by an unseen hand : — 
" This is the work of St. Luke, Chancellor of Christ, 
which is to be carried to the Church of St. Luke, built 
on the Monte della Guardia, and there to be placed on 
the altar." Theocles thought himself elected for the 
mission, and inquired where the hill mentioned was 
situated, but no one could inform him. He then begged 
the picture of the priests of St. Sophia's, declaring that 
he would travel all over the world in search of the Monte 
della Guardia, and he promised to bring back the image 
in the event of his never finding the place of its desti- 
nation. His request was acceded to, after much difficulty, 
and he commenced his pilgrimage with the painting 
hung round his neck. He visited many parts of Greece 
in vain, and, having crossed the Adriatic, he went to 
Rome. There he learnt that a hill, called the Monte 
della Guardia, existed near Bologna, and that a church 
had been erected on it a few years previously in honour 
of St. Luke. He hurried to Bologna, found the hill 
and the church, and placed the picture on the altar. 
The conquest of Constantinople by the Turks, three 
centuries later, was assigned as the motive for the trans- 
lation of the image, but it had then been removed a 
second time according to one version, although the 
Bolognese assert that they still possess the original, and 
that it was only a copy of it that Pope Urban V. pre- . 
sen ted to the monks of Tersatto in the year 1361. That 
donation, whether it be of the prototype or of a facsimile, 
was obtained in consequence of the veneration acquired 
by the popular behef that the identical house of the 


Virgin Mary had rested at Tersatto for several days in 
its aerial flight from Nazareth to Loretto, where it is 
still worshipped by the faithful. A chapel of the same 
form had been built on the spot by a Count Frangipaui, 
in 1031, and three centuries later a brotherhood of the 
order of St. Francis had been established there. 

A number of peasants were walking round and round 
the altar muttering prayers to the miraculous image, 
some carrying small legs and arms of wax, which they 
suspended afterwards in the church as acknowledgments 
of the wonderful cures effected through the intercession 
of Our Lady of Tersatto ; and others bearing paintings 
of ships in distress, which had been saved from wreck 
and loss by means of vowing to present her with so 
many candles. A few women were going the round on 
their bare knees, and all the persons in the church knelt 
when the first curtain over the altar was drawn at my 
request. I asked the monk, who showed us the image, 
if he really believed it to be eighteen hundred and fifty 
years old. 

" Only seventeen hundred," he replied, with the 
magnanimous disinterestedness of a tradesman who 
sacrifices a part of his wares, in order the better to sell 
the remainder, and with the dogmatical insistance of 
an impostor who plunges headlong into a subject on 
w^hich he is totally ignorant. 

The monastery, which is comparatively a modern 
building, contains thirty of these holy beggars, who pro- 
fess to live on the charity of the devout Eiumani. The 
character of their household arrangements, however, 
seemed far from being consistent with the principles 


and precepts of their founder, St. Francis ; and, had he 
foreseen the manner of their future application by his 
disciples, when he was struggling with the arch enemy 
on Mount Lavernia, in Tuscany, he would verily have 
allowed himself to be precipitated from the rock in 
despair, rather than thrust his hand into its hard sub- 
stance, and by grasping it firmly, gain the victory, as 
was still attested when I was there some twenty years 
ago, by the marks of his four fingers and thumb ; — they 
bore a singularly strong resemblance to those of a chisel, 
all the same. But there appeared to be a degree of com- 
fort attendant on the profession of mendicity at Fiume, 
even when unaccompanied by the vow of monastic seclu- 
sion, for, in our rambles on the hill of Tersatto, we were 
beset by beggars of both sexes and of all ages, who dis- 
played no tokens of great misery and want. It was in 
vain that we hoped to free ourselves from this perse- 
cution by stating the fact that we did not happen to have 
any small money about us ; no sooner had we said so, 
than dirty hands were extended on all sides full of copper 
coin for us to change, which proved at least that they 
had the means of subsistence for many days, and that 
they were not suffering from any very aggravated attack 
of the gaunt malady, impecuniosity. There were some 
who belonged to the class of parochial or licensed men- 
dicants ; they sat on the way-side, neither looking at nor 
addressing the passers-by, but confining the expression 
of their penury to the rattling of halfpence in a tin- 
box with a hole in the lid like that of a till. It was a 
strange mode of requesting charity, as, instead of illus- 
trating their destitute case, the impertinent pantomime 


of the tin-box seemed rather to call attention to the 
number of pieces of money it contained. 

We descended by a narrow path into a ravine thickly 
wooded with young oaks, but arid and desert ; the want 
of water in the dry bed of a winter torrent occupying 
the bottom of the gnlley seemed to be felt by every 
feature of the scene, as well as by ourselves, for we were 
devoured by thirst as we strolled around the crags. The 
leaves of the trees were shrivelled and drooping, the 
grass was brown and burnt up, the rocks were hot and 
white, the breeze appeared to issue from the mouth of 
an oven; it was desperately sunshiny. We passed a 
well, it is true, and I convinced myself of its efficiency 
as such by throwing stones into it, but the absence of 
mechanical means for drawing water from it only ren- 
dered the proximity of the cool element the more tanta- 
lizing. A rope was suspended over it, and we pulled 
most dihgently at it, but we soon acquired the melan- 
choly conviction that both its ends were totally bucket- 
less, and altogether devoid of the least semblance of any 
recipient. We proceeded on our way, reasoning with 
ourselves as we went on this practical refutation of the 
philosophy of Diogenes, who threw away his cup when 
he saw a man drinking out of his clasped hands. The site 
was so magnificent, however, that we soon lost sight of 
the sufferings of our walk in the glories of the landscape 
unfolded before us, and we frequently sat down to recruit 
our energies, while we tranquilly enjoyed the varied and 
extensive prospect. 

On returning to Fiume, our first care was gastro- 
nomical ; then we lounged on sofas for awhile ; and at 


last we sallied forth again with sight-seeing intent. We 
found our way to a Roman arch, which is the only ves- 
tige still remaining of the occupation of this locality by 
the conquerors of the old world. There w^as neither an 
inscription, nor the slightest sculptural indication of its 
purpose, and it now spans one of the streets of the upper 
town, the supporting columns being built into the houses 
on either side. 

It w^as in the second century before the Christian 
era that the first inhabitants of this country became 
subjects of the great republic. Who those first inha- 
bitants were, seems to be uncertain : by some they are 
supposed to have been descendants of the Argonauts, 
who were led hither by Jason, previously to the abduc- 
tion of Medea in Colchis, five hundred years before the 
foundation of Rome ; which expedition proves, by the 
way, that the merit of first navigating the Danube as 
a passage from the Black Sea to Central Europe, does 
not belong to the Austrian Steam Navigation Company. 
Others contend that they were the posterity of those natives 
of Colchis, whom Absyrtus, the brother of Medea, brought 
with him ; and it has also been suggested that they were 
a colony from the town of Istropolis, at the mouth of 
the Ister, or Danube, in the Black Sea, from which cir- 
cumstance the territory lying to the west of Fiume 
derived the name of Istria. The arrogant ambition of 
the Roman Republic could ill brook a protracted peace ; 
the restlessness of the people, and the policy of the 
Senate required a succession of conquests ; a pretext for 
war must therefore be found, even if provoked by unjus- 
tifiable aggression. The young Prince Pineus reigned 


at that time in Istria and Dalmatia under the guardian- 
ship of his mother Teuta. Pirates infested the neigh- 
bouring seas, and the traders of Rome complained to 
the Senate of their losses on that account. The island 
of Lissa, which was under Roman protection, demanded 
satisfaction for an alleged insult received at the hands of 
Teuta. Ambassadors were sent to her by the Senate to 
claim compensation for the real injury done to their 
commerce, and reparation for the fancied outrage com- 
mitted on their ally. Lucius Coruncanius, Avho was the 
spokesman, treated the queen with so little respect that 
she ordered the Roman delegates to be put to death. A 
fleet sailed under Cneius Fulvius Centumalus, and an 
army marched through Illyria, led by Lucius Postumius 
Albinus. Fortune favoured both expeditions ; Teuta 
and her ward were obliged to retire to the mountains, 
leaving the coast at the mercy of the conquerors. A 
peace was concluded by which the kingdom was declared 
tributary to the republic, and Teuta was removed from 
the regency. The Romans appointed in her stead a 
certain Demetrius Earius, who had assisted them in the 
campaign against his country, but he soon betrayed 
them when they went to war with the Gauls, and he 
fought for their foes ; he was defeated, and Pineus was 
then allowed to reign alone. 

In the sixth century of Rome, another and a more 
serious war was declared between the tributary state 
and the Republic; the former was subjugated; and 
Epulus, the last king, stabbed himself rather than sur- 
vive his fall. Colonies were planted by the victors, the 
principal of which was Pola, where I had an opportunity 


of visiting the splendid remains of their edifices on a 
former occasion ; and the civilization of Roman customs 
and institutions vi^as introduced among the natives, 
whom Livy represents as having been previously bar- 
barous and cruel. They passed seven centuries under 
the protection of the Roman Eagle ; but, when the 
Venetian Republic commenced to lay the foundations of 
its future greatness, and when the invasion of the declin- 
ing empire by the Huns, under Attila, and the Goths, 
under Theodorick, had devastated the intervening states, 
the Istrians thought to save themselves from the rising 
ambition of Venice, and the overwhelming incursions of 
the northern tribes by clinging to the Greeks of the 
'Lower Empire. In the eighth century they fell under 
the sceptre of Charlemagne, who gave them a Duke to 
govern them. The Sclavonians soon appeared and took 
possession of the country, incorporating among them- 
selves the remains of the ancient races and tribes still 
occupying both Istria and Croatia, which finally passed 
under the domination of the House of Hapsburgh. 
The town of Eiume has thus belonged to Greeks, 
Romans, Sclavonians, and to Germans, changing its 
name with its masters; it was first called Vitopolis, 
then Rika, and finally St. Veit au Flaum, or Eiume. 

Erom the Roman arch we proceeded to the Church of 
San Vito, the patron saint of the place. It is of circular 
form with a fine cupola, in imitation of the Church of 
Maria della Salute, at Venice, of which it is a miniature 
copy, rich in difierent-coloured marbles, and surrounded 
by altars profusely ornamented. 

Having now seeti everything worthy of attention 

HOTEL. 27 

at Fiume, we returned to oar hotel to make prepa- 
rations for our departure on the following day. That 
hotel was, be it recorded en passant, most highly 
deserving of the notice of travellers, inasmuch as the 
three great desideranda were in considerable perfec- 
tion ; comfortable rooms, excellent fare, and moderate 
charges. It rejoiced in the name of the " Regina dell' 
Ungheria," and it was situated on the sea-shore for the 
convenience of families who come to Fiume from the 
interior of Hungary during summer, to enjoy the bene- 
fits of sea-bathing ; and few places are more admirably 
adapted for the purpose, as it combines health, amuse- 
ment, and economy. 




We resumed our way in a carriage which we had hired 
from the post-master, and with a coachman who spoke 
only a few words of German. On leaving the town, our 
luggage, which had just been carefully packed and 
elaborately secured on the spacious foot-board behind, 
was unceremoniously scattered in the middle of the road 
by custom-house officers, and a rigorous search, for what 
we could not surmise, was incontinently commenced. 
The quarter of a two-shilling note, which I tore off for 
the purpose, soon put a stop to the whole proceed- 
ing, however, and after replacing trunks, portmanteau, 
carpet bags, and hat-boxes in heavy marching order, we 
did the same by our own respective persons, large and 
small, and moved slowly on by a gentle ascent through 
the narrow valley of the Fiumara, driving along the foot 
of the steep cliffs on which Tersatto stands. In one 
place they had been cut down to leave a passage for the 
road, rising abruptly to a considerable height on either 
side. This artificial defile is called the Porta Ungarica. 
An inscription in the Sclavonic dialect of the country, 
carved on the smooth face of the rock, announced to us 
that we traversed here the boundaries of the celebrated 


Ban Jellachich's jurisdiction, and that we now entered 
the ancient kingdom and modern province of Croatia. 
Below us, on the left, lay the paper works, which had 
been mentioned to us at Fiume, and which we now 
learnt were the property of an Englishman of the 
unavoidable name of Smith. They covered the whole 
space between the rocks and the river, and they were in 
excellent repair. 

The banks of the Piumara were prettily clothed with 
brushwood as we advanced, and a multitude of grey 
precipices broke the monotony of the thick foliage which 
spread over the rugged hills wherever there was suffi- 
cient soil for the roots of the shrubs to strike into. We 
passed several wdld-looking peasants, armed to the teeth, 
who were sitting by the road-side at regular distances, 
and who presented an alarming image of the worst sort 
of banditti ; but we found on inquiring that they wxre 
mere custom-house guards, posted there to detect smug- 
gling from different points on the coast, and from the 
free port of Eiume. Others, having a scarcely less 
wicked appearance, though not so formidably equipped, 
drove their rude waggons laden with timber, fire-wood, 
or charcoal, towards the sea for exportation to Italy ; their 
tight nether-garments of white woollen stuff", braided 
with blue or red cords, their clumsy Hessian boots, their 
embroidered jackets thrown over one shoulder, and their 
huge fur-caps, gave them a military air, w^ell befitting 
the lawless troopers of Croatia, who were led by their 
well-known Ban to the assault of Vienna, two years ago; 
and some, in lighter vehicles of Avicker work on four 
wheels, drawn by three or four small, but fiery horses, 


evidently of an oriental breed, sat proudly on their 
bundle of straw, as they rushed past us on their way to 
Fiume, in search of more portable goods to convey 
thence to the inland towns of Croatia and Hungary. 

We continued ascending hour after hour, and still we 
saw the zigzag course of our road rising higher and 
higher before us; the broken hills grew into rounded 
mountains, and the low shrubs gave place to lofty trees ; 
and still we seemed to have much to climb, although a 
communicative milestone informed us, not only how far 
we were from Tiume, but also that we had mounted 
already two thousand feet above the level of the sea. The 
green-sward gradually disappeared, and the rough rocks 
increased in number and extent, until a perfect wilderness 
of barren and unfriendly aspect surrounded us on all 
sides. The road was admirable throughout ; broad, 
smooth, skilfully engineered, and carefully kept. This 
was the great Strada Ludovicea, or Louisensirasse, as 
the Germans call it. Before it was constructed, two 
others, the Carolinen and the JosepJdneii Slrassen, served 
as the usual means of communication between Hungary 
and the sea-ports on the Adriatic, but neither of them 
offered the advantages of a secure and convenient mode 
of transport for the trade of the interior : an abortive 
attempt was made to render the navigation of the river 
Kulpa serviceable for this purpose, and when it failed, 
a number of Croatian Magnates united to form a Joint- 
Stock Company, under the patronage of Field Marshal 
Vukassovich, with the view of making a new road at 
a vast expense, and on a line presenting formidable 


Maria Louisa, the daughter of the Emperor of Austria, 
and the future Empress of Napoleon Buonaparte, was 
then a young girl, and being desirous of giving her name 
to a great work, in imitation of the Princesses after whom 
the other roads were called, she obtained for the Company 
important assistance, in consideration of which the new 
road received her name. It was commenced in the year 
1803, and was completed in six years between Eiume 
and Carlovacz, a distance of eighteen German, or seventy- 
two English miles, at an outlay of nearly 300,000/. 
sterhng ; and it was made the post-road three years 
later, in lieu of the Carolinendrasse. 

I have crossed tlie Simplon, the St. Gothard, and the 
Ampezzo, all of which passages of the Alps are celebrated 
for the masterly style in which the greatest obstacles are 
surmounted ; but I do not think that any one of them 
displays such a degree of skill in the tracing of the line, 
or of perfection in its execution, as the Louisenstrasse. 

There is not the slightest danger on any part of the 
road ; parapets have been raised wherever the height of 
the rettiining walls is considerable, and protection from 
the furious winds of winter is provided at all the places 
which are exposed to them, by raising these parapets 
eight or ten feet above the level of the road. When 
the Bora, as it is called in the country, blows violently, 
the heaviest waggons remain for hours behind these 
walls waiting until it subsides, as nothing can withstand 
its force ; and instances have occurred when they have 
been upset by a sudden blast if their drivers ventured 
too soon beyond the shelter prepared for them; while 
pedestrians are often obliged to lie down at the foot of 



the parapets to escape being blown over the chffs, and 
travellers have been found frozen to death in this posi- 
tion on cold winter nights. 

Large cisterns have been built on the road-side to 
collect rain water and preserve it during the summer for 
the use of waggoners and their horses where springs 
are wanting, and houses of refuge have been raised, in 
which those who are benighted, or overtaken by storms, 
can find an asylum. The whole enterprise has been 
efficiently conducted, and it has also proved to be an 
excellent investment of money, as it produces an abun- 
dant return from the toll-bars. Some of the winding 
passes, in which the road is scooped out of the perpen- 
dicular flanks of the mountain, at a height of two hundred 
feet above the abyss which it overhangs, have been 
planned with a degree of bold ingenuity that must have 
been both difficult and dangerous to carry out ; and we 
were told that in boring the first mines of several of 
them, the workmen were suspended by ropes to ply their 
crow-bars, and that some had lost their lives on such 
occasions by the breaking of the ropes and other ac- 
cidents; a mere trifle, when compared with the 100,000 
men sacrificed every three months in the erection of the 
pyramid of Cheops, which has never been so useful as 
the turnpike road of Maria Louisa. 

We passed the village and castle of Grobnick, perched 
on the summit of a hill to our left. The inhabitants, 
in default of arable land on which to exercise their 
industry, are almost exclusively woodsmen and carpenters, 
and they are reputed most skilful in the latter calling in 
the neighbouring towns, to which they migrate annually 


in search of work, returning periodically with their 
earnings in the shape of grain to support their families 
during winter. A little further on, however, we crossed 
a small plain, called the Grobnikerfeld, which is com- 
paratively devoid of rocks, and there the dihgent wood- 
cutters have established a scanty cultivation, apparently 
poor in produce, and certainly inadequate to their sub- 
sistence. After leaving it, we commenced another long 
ascent, which raised us a thousand feet more above the 
level of the sea. This was the highest point of the 
Kapella Gebirge, and we had no sooner reached it than 
a new scene opened before us, and the surrounding 
country assumed a totally different character from that 
of the barren heights over which we had passed. A broad 
expanse of hill and dale, green and wooded, fresh and 
smiling, extended far and wide ; rich meadows, fertile 
fields, and neat enclosures, came in pleasing succession 
to the bleak inhospitable region which we had left behind 
and below us, and this fair landscape of Alpine beauty 
derived an additional charm in our eyes from the sudden 
and unexpected contrast. The verdure of the grassy 
banks was gemmed with wild flowers in the most varied 
profusion. The scarlet amaryllis grew on the damp 
soil, where tiny streamlets trickled, glittering in the sun- 
shine for a moment, and then disappearing under the 
sombre shade of mountain pines. The pale pansy of the 
woods peeped from behind the feathery leaf of the fern ; 
wild roses clang to the hawthorn bushes of the untrained 
hedges; and the small red strawberries, soon detected 
on their lowly beds of moss and weeds, tempted us 
more than once to ahght and gather them in handfuls. 

VOL. I. D 


The trees, that studded the rising grounds, were of 
gigantic growth, and so thick-set, as they clustered on 
the summits of the green hillocks, that these natural 
plantations seem to be impenetrable. They were laid 
out, as it were, in the most tasteful manner, and, in 
some places where they descended in well-rounded forms 
upon the smooth and undulating lawns of the valley, a 
handsome country house was alone wanting to complete 
the resemblance to an English park ; while they possessed 
that brilliant variety which is attained by scientific 
planters only, through a skilful mixture of deciduous 
trees with the predominant masses of firs, pines, and 
other evergreens. The difi*erent tints, which displayed 
a pleasing contrast between the bright foHage of the 
noble platanus, chestnut-tree, and mountain-ash, and the 
rich dark raiment worn by the numerous kinds of abies, 
gave an appearance of lightness and luxuriance to the 
general efiect, that might have afforded a profitable 
subject of study and admiration to the Lou dons and 
Stuarts of England and Scotland; and the young birch- 
wood, intermingled with nut-bushes on the heights, and 
with willows in the hollows, was disposed in inimitable 
groups and clumps, fresh from the hand of that match- 
less landscape gardener, Nature. We drove for a couple 
of hours through this lovely sylvan scene, which in my 
opinion far surpasses anything that is to be met with in 
Switzerland or the Tyrol. 

We passed several small villages, composed of log-huts 
like those of America, roofed with thin and narrow 
planks. I entered one of them when our coachman 
stopped to water his horses : it was inhabited by a 



numerous family of half-savages, besides two small red 
cows and four or five long-haired and shaggy goats ; a 
large boiler was suspended by a chain from the roof over 
a fire in the centre of the hovel, and hungry children 
were crouching around it in an atmosphere of thick 
smoke ; while an old woman prepared their meal of boiled 
chestnuts and onions, grumbling and scolding in strange 
uncouth accents as she brandished her huge wooden 
spoon : two men, who lounged at the low door- way, 
were tall, robust, and handsome. The Croatians are con- 
sidered to be remarkable for their fine eyes, but, though 
certainly large and full of expression, especially those of 
the young mother of the family in the cottage, who 
entered it with an immense load of hay on her back, 
and a hoe in her hand, as I was leaving it, they appeared 
to me to have too much of fierceness and cruelty in their 
quick glance to entitle them to the reputation of great 
beauty. The two peasants at the door were both armed 
with long guns, and each of them had his woodman's 
axe over his shoulder, as the cutting of timber and fire- 
wood, and the burning of charcoal, seem to occupy more 
of their time than the exercise of husbandry, which is 
left almost exclusively to the women. On the whole, 
they were men whom it was more agreeable to meet at 
their cottage-door, than it would have been in the forest 
alone, for they looked as if they were quite as much 
accustomed to use their guns as their axes ; and both 
for purposes less innocent than those of woodcutting. 

An incident occurred while we were dining at the 
neighbouring village of Merslavoditza, which was intended 
to have enlightened us on this subject, but we continued 

D 2 



nevertheless in our happy state of innocent ignorance, 
fortunately for our tranquillity of mind, during the greater 
part of our day's journey. As we were sitting down to 
dinner, a respectably dressed person appeared in a soi- 
disant frock-coat ; he bowed low, and commenced making 
us a speech, of which I did not comprehend a single 
word ; the strange sounds which he emitted, having left 
me in doubt even as to what language he had been 
speaking. I hazarded a reply in German ; and I inti- 
mated that I had not the good fortune to understanc 
the Croatian, or indeed any other of the different Scla- 
vonian dialects, and that, unless he could speak German 
to me, our intercourse, however otherwise desirable, must 
be unavoidably restricted to a repetition of the courteous 
inclination of our persons, which we had already ex- 
changed. My unintelligible interlocutor blushed deeply, 
and stammered a few words, among which I thought I 
could distinguish a declaration that he was a German, 
and that he had been, and still w^as, speaking German. 
It was now my turn to blush, for I rather piqued myself 
on my proficiency in that tongue ; and my mortification 
at not having even recognised the language on which I 
prided myself most, was equal to my astonishment at so 
unexpected a discovery of the imperfection of my acquire- 
ments in this line. Added to that, were the taunts of 
my merciless companion, who had also caught the mean- 
ing of the gentleman's last words, and no quarter was 
given me with regard to the ridiculous figure I was 
cutting. With humbled confidence in my own powers 
as a linguist, I requested the German, since German he 
was, to have the goodness again to communicate the 


motive which had procured me the honour of his visit. 
He then began another apparently most eloquent 
harangue, which, however, was as provokingly obscure 
to my intellect as his first address had been ; and, for 
the life of me, I could not obtain the slightest cue to 
the meaning of what he had said. Perceiving the state 
of the case, he added gesticulation to vociferation, his 
manner became quite frantic, he repeated his words over 
and over again, when I asked him what they signified ; 
but still I could make nothing of his discourse. 

" Have you understood anything more of the conver- 
sation, now?" asked in English my vis-a-vis at the 
other end of the table, with an aggravating smile, while 
the two roguish little faces on either side of it were 
heartily laughing at me. 

" Nothing beyond what I have said myself/' I repHed 
in despair. 

I had understood, however, if not the communication 
which had been made to me, at least, the reason why 
I could not comprehend it. A curious sort of hiccup, 
introduced in place of the consonants, and leaving the 
words to run into each other in a long variation of open 
vowels, had explained to me at last that the unfortunate 
individual was afflicted with what is called a hare-lip of 
the worst description; and, although the physical mal- 
conformation was ably masked without by a bushy pair 
of mustachios, the total absence within of the usual 
partition, separating the olfactory organs from those of 
speech, rendered his means of oral communication with 
his fellow-creatures extremely limited and imperfect. 
Under such circumstances, I gave up all hope of ever 


obtaining from himself an explanation of the subject on 
which he desired to talk with me, and I called for the 
people of the inn, who, I thought, might be habituated 
to his peculiar pronunciation ; but not one of them could 
speak a single word of any language except Croatian. 
I sent for the coachman \ he made some progress, in so 
far as he ascertained that the luckless owner of the 
hare-lip was the overseer of that part of the Louisen- 
strasse, and that he had something to say to us as 
travellers, but it was not in his power to elucidate the 
matter further, as he, being a Styrian, was not well 
acquainted either with German or Croatian. During 
this attempt at interpretation, the animation and excite- 
ment of our lively friend became quite fearful; but it 
was all in vain — his pantomimic efforts still remained 
apocryphal, and his " Mene, mene, teJcel ujpJiarsin " found 
no Daniel to expound it. We, therefore, abandoned the 
project of gaining any information from the inexplicable 
gentleman, who withdrew, shrugging his shoulders most 
resignedly ; and, dismissing it from our minds, as the 
fox did the grapes, with the professed conviction that 
the information could not be worth having, we thought no 
more about it until late in the day, when a tardy hght 
broke upon us, and solved the mystery after it was too late 
to take advantage of what we might, perhaps, have suc- 
ceeded in learning with a little more perseverance. 

The mistress of the inn was a comely and good- 
humoured dame ; the waiting-maid was smart and pretty, 
and the dress of both was picturesque; their smile of 
welcome was never absent from their ruby lips and 
their rosy-dimpled cheeks; and that, we thought, was 



an unerring proof of their happy nature, for a laugh 
may come from the head, but a smile can only emanate 
from the heart. In short, we congratulated ourselves 
on being amongst an honest people of the mountains, 
patriarchal and unsophisticated in their manners, and so 
primitive in their display of cordial hospitality, that I 
almost felt ashamed to ask for our bill. We had par- 
taken of a wretched dinner, which had, notwithstanding, 
appeared delicious, after the kind alacrity with which it 
had been prepared; and we were communing with 
ourselves with respect to the probability of our hostess 
condescending to accept of any pecuniary offering, 
when we were suddenly disenchanted by a spontaneous 
demand, at least equal to the sum which would be 
charged at Yery's in the Palais Royal for the most 
sumptuous and dainty repast. I ventured on some 
deprecatory remarks, which bordered on positive censure, 
but every one then seemed to understand less German 
than ever; the coachman ostentatiously called for his 
bill also, when he saw what was passing, and he took 
some money from his pocket. I complained to him, and 
he declared that he was equally the victim of rapacity, 
as the claim made against him was no less exorbitant ; 
and, seeing that the evil was irremediable, I disbursed 
the amount required, and proceeded towards the carriage. 
I happened to look back, however, and I perceived the 
coachman returning his money to his pocket with a wink 
to the landlady, who advanced and gave him his share of 
the spoils. This was our mountain people — untainted by 
the sullying contact of corrupt society, preserving in 
their remote corner of the earth all the purity of the 


golden age, and passing their innocent existence in the 
primeval simplicity of our first parents before the fall ! 

We continued our journey, with the unsatisfactory 
consciousness of being laughed at for our greenness, 
robbed of our illusions, and pilfered of our money. 
The country around us still for some time presented the 
same shifting scenes of picturesque beauty, until at 
length the woods alone predominated, and we found 
ourselves travelHng through a wild, and, apparently, 
interminable forest. I began to recollect some of thei 
sounds which had issued from the hare-hp of the overseer ; 
and the words, '' ungeheuere waldungen'^ rang in my 
ears. I reflected that these must be the immense woods 
which he had spoken of, if he really had made use of 
that expression ; I next mentally recurred to the remark, 
" ScJildchte leute^' and I concluded, that supposing he 
had made that remark, he might have alluded to the 
people of the inn, who had afterwards proved that they 
were bad enough in all conscience ; but, perhaps, other 
bad people whom he knew might cross our path, and 
then the monosyllables '' sehr spat'' also returned to my 
memory as having repeatedly formed part of his speech ; 
and I now observed that the day was indeed far spent. 
Whilst I was thus ruminating on the possible analogies 
between the hare-lip and our present position, we met a 
sort of stage-coach, and, after looking with some curiosity 
at its inmates, who seemed to gaze at us with more, we 
saw an accessory following it, which at once removed all 
doubts from my mind as to the gist of the overseer's 
discourse. Tliis was a light peasant's waggon, drawn 
by three horses, and containing four Austrian soldiers. 


with their firelocks in their hands and their bayonets 
fixed. Now the enigma was read, and the Sphinx of 
Merslavoditza was provided with an CEdipus. My 
companion, who had comprehended nothing about the 
" immense woods," the " bad people," and the " very 
late" hour, came to the same conclusion as myself, at 
sight of the stage coach travelling with a strong guard. 
The truth flashed across our brain in all its horror. 
Fortunately, the little boys had no suspicion of the cir- 
cumstances in which they and we were placed, and, like 
incorrigible chatterboxes as they are, they kept talking, 
and laughing, and singing, as if their hours were not 
numbered. What was to be done? We were about 
half-way between Merslavoditza and a roadside inn, 
where we had purposed sleeping. We had been in the 
forest for upwards of two hours, and it might be as 
dangerous to return after nightfall as to proceed. The 
stage-coach must have gone a considerable distance by 
that time, and it would have been impossible to overtake 
it, with the view of placing ourselves under the protec- 
tion of the four fixed bayonets. 

We determined, in our council of war, that we had 
no better course to follow than pushing on to our 
sleeping-place. The coachman was sitting whistHng on 
his box. He looked quite as apt to play into the hand 
of a bandit as into that of the landlady at our last inn. 
Every tree seemed to screen a long gun, and every 
branch appeared to serve as a rest for its muzzle. We 
were beginning to feel very uncomfortable. The evening 
was closing fast. We reflected, however, that swindlers 
are not always highwaymen, and we resolved on trying 


to gain our driver over to our cause. I asked him how 
long he would take to convey us to the inn, and he 
replied, that it could not be done under two hours. We 
had still about an hour before us ere it could be quite 
dark. I therefore employed the most persuasive of all 
arguments to induce him to quicken the speed of his 
horses, and told him that, if we arrived before night, his 
" trinhgeld " should be doubled. This '^had the desired 
effect ; and off we started at a brisk pace, after sundry 
vigorous applications of the lash. Compassion for thej 
dumb animals had given place to apprehension for the 
safety of those more or less endowed with reason. Our 
only resource was in their strength, and it was evidently 
waning, for they had been jaded by the long ascent ; 
but they must needs pull us on, and that as fast as 
possible. The country still surrounded us with scenes 
of the wildest beauty. Every thing combined to com- 
plete the most perfect image of picturesque sublimity ; 
and that, at a time when we felt least inclined to admire 
it. The broken nature of the ground, the deep chasms 
on oiu* right, the rugged precipices on our left, and 
wherever the eye was turned, the undulating ocean of 
inexorable woods, which we were navigating with the 
awful prospect of shipwreck at every plunge we made 
into its depths, oppressed us with a sense of mingled 
despair and admiration. My companion, too, not satis- 
fied with these delectable feelings, would keep constantly 
attracting my attention to the wild flowers on the road- 
side, which, like treacherous syrens, worked upon our 
botanical predilections to entice us to our ruin by tempt- 
ing us to stop and pluck them; but I armed myself 


against the blandishments of the coquettish Flora, by 
calling to the coachman to hurry on ; and then I had 
to bear all the lamentations of the disappointed herbalist, 
which were uttered in a tone so piteous, that I suspected 
they were indulged in more as the outpourings of a 
terror-stricken soul than as the genuine expression of 
scientific longings. 

At last, when night was succeeding to twilight, and 
when every object around us, whether terrible o'r lovely, 
was being blended in one dark shroud which seemed to 
descend like a pall on our doomed little party, the car- 
riage suddenly stopped, the door was violently thrown 
open, and the botanist fell into a paroxysm of unmis- 
takeable fear. But, instead of the truculent scowl of 
•a brigand, the triumphant smile of our coachman met 
our anxious gaze, as he announced that we had ar- 
rived. Arrived where? We were still in the forest. 
The trees seemed to crowd around us, and to peer 
over our heads in every direction, as if laughing at our 
alarm. There we were, at the door of a house, sure 
enough; but the house was a lonely building in the 
heart of the woods. Our excited imaginations, and 
especially that of my companion, found ample scope for 
unwholesome exercise in every new incident of this luck- 
less day's journey. The inn was cleanly, but it had 
certainly not been much frequented of late — therefore, it 
could only be a robber's den ; the floors were uneven — 
they must contain trap-doors ; and the three chamber- 
maids were tall, hoarse-voiced, long-stepping, and hard- 
featured — ergo, they were men in women's clothes. Such 
an adventure would have been a godsend to Mrs. Ann 


Radcliffe. We carefully examined our rooms, tried the 
locks of our doors, and even bruised our knuckles by 
knocking on all the walls, to ascertain whether or not 
they returned a hollow sound. Being much in want of 
bodily nourishment, I went to ask for dinner or supper — 
I could not specify which, as a lively representation of 
the act of eating was the only way in which I could 
make my wishes understood; and the sole reply I received 
was a ghastly attempt at a laugh, amounting to a hideous 
grimace, accompanied by a hoarse sepulchral sound, on 
the part of the three stalwart beldames forming the do- 
mestic staff of the establishment. When I returned to 
our rooms, I occupied myself with my note-book for 
some time, but, happening to look up, I could not help 
laughing when I saw my persevering botanist arranging 
with the greatest care all the weeds collected during the 
day in a much-valued hortus siccus. The two children 
also presented a characteristic tableau : fatigued by their 
long day of continual animation, they had fallen asleep 
on a mattrass, locked in each other's arms. I remarked 
that they put me in mind of a print in BoydelFs Shak- 
speare, representing Edward the Fifth and his little brother 
in the Tower of London. The door was just then sud- 
denly and violently thrown open ; great trepidation en- 
sued, which I had some difficulty in tranquillizing ; and, 
instead of Sir James Tyrrell and his accomplices, in hel- 
mets and coats of mail, with a huge feather-bed in their 
murderous grasp, we beheld the three large chamber- 
maids enter in procession. The first carried an enor- 
mous wooden bowl full of milk, the second brought a 
great black loaf of bread, and the third followed with 



some wooden spoons in one hand and an alarming knife, 
like tlie two-edged shene or dagger of the Scotch High- 
landers, in the other. This was our supper. The result 
was more satisfactory than we expected on the display of 
such rustic fare ; we were hungry, and we thought we 
might have fared worse if we had not reached the inn, 
which was a strong argument in favour of our present 
position ; and we resolved on seeking repose after so much 
excitement. We accomplished a scientific experiment of 
hermetically sealing ourselves in our rooms, with the 
view of excluding unwelcome visitors, and we passed the 
night without further cause for apprehension, although 
we all suffered a good deal from cold. Our dreams were 
in harmony with our waking thoughts ; and when strange 
sounds in an unknown tongue, and with most unmusi- 
cal voices, mingled with the wild fancies conjured up by 
strong impressions, and seemed a continuation of the 
imaginary disasters which respectively befell us, we sprang 
up, rubbing our eyes and feehng our limbs, as if to con- 
vince ourselves that we had not really suffered in succes- 
sion all sorts of violent deaths. We did not understand 
what was said, but the day was breaking, and we con- 
cluded that we were informed of our coachman being 
ready to commence another pleasure excursion in the 
Croatian forests. We proceeded however on our way 
with more confidence, and whatever the real danger 
might be, the apparent fear was certainly less than it had 
been on the previous day ; but then the sun was well up 
when we left the forest hostelry, and the Herculean 
Hamadryads who tended it ; and there is nothing more 
encouraging to your nervous and hysterical persons than 

46 SKRAD. 

broad daylight ; a bright ray of sunshine is the best pos- 
sible remedy for hleptophohia, if such a word may be 
coined ; and it is only in a doubtful twilight that bushes 
cease to be bushes and become brigands, and that 
branches assume the condition of blunderbusses. At 
noon, life passes at its current worth, nature wears her 
own face, and masked phantoms vanish. Thus we 
travelled cheerfully until the evening, without accident or 
obstacle, real or visionary ; we descended gradually from 
the mountains, left the forest far behind us, and reached 
the small village of Skrad. 

The first person who presented himself to us, was a 
colleague of our Merslavoditza friend; he was also a 
German, and fortunately his lips were in a less ab- 
normal state. He expressed much surprise at our 
arrival, unprotected and yet unharmed ; and he asked 
if the other overseer had neglected his duty of apprising 
us of the dangers to which we would be exposed, as the 
company instructed their agents to do. I answered that 
the company should reflect that eligibility for such a 
post must necessarily include the gift of speech, without 
which, the fulfilment of its philanthropic duties becomes 
exceedingly difficult, not to say impossible : and I stated 
the particulars of our interview with the hare-lip, which 
excited the most uncharitable fit of laughter on the part 
of the Skrad functionary. He then proceeded to relate 
various recent instances of highway robbery which had 
been perpetrated in that forest, through which we had 
passed unmolested, several of them having been accom- 
panied by grievous bodily injury to the sufferers, and 
one or two by uncompromising murder. 

SKRAD. 47 

Skrad, like Merslavoditza, was merely an assemblage 
of peasant^' huts, with three or four good houses, one of 
which is the inn and another, the office of the overseer 
of the road, and the remainder, the dweUings of govern- 
ment foresters, as the wood on these mountains is chiefly 
the property of the State. We made our bargain for 
our lodging and meals, and we found that that precaution, 
hitherto overlooked by us in Croatia, although so much 
recommended to travellers on the continent by authors 
of guide-books, secured us from further imposition in 
that respect. We were somewhat amused, however, by 
the ingenious device which was practised at Skrad for 
the pm^pose of compensating the loss of a better oppor- 
tunity to pillage strangers ; I was asked by the inn-keeper 
if I wished that the carriage should be deposited in a 
place of safety for the night, and I readily concurred 
with the proposal in consideration of our luggage, which 
remained in and on it ; a formidable item was conse- 
quently annexed to our bill for its lodging ; and to judge 
by the amount, better accommodation seemed to have 
been provided for the vehicle than for its occupants. 
At the same time, the exquisite cleanliness which we 
everywhere remarked in these humble hostelries, together 
with the unvarying signs of respect that were shown us by 
people of all classes, who took off their hats to us on every 
occasion, induced us to forgive the little tricks played off 
on us, and to forget the alarm inspired by their maraud- 
ing propensities. This courtesy towards strangers, on 
the part of a peasantry characterised generally as being 
half-savage and wholly lawless, indicated at least that 
they are still in a happy state of ignorance with reference 


to the doctrines of Liberie, TJgalite, et Fraternite, which 
are so fast hurrying one of the hitherto great^ nations of 
Europe to the uttermost verge of perdition. It was the 
15th of June when we passed the night at Skrad, and 
yet it was so cold that we all shivered as if we were in 
the ague-fit of an intermittent fever, whose last period 
had reached its climax during our sultry walk from 
Tersatto, and was still fresh, or rather hot, in our 
memory; and indeed, to persons living in Italy, and 
desirous of avoiding the heat of a southern summer 
without going to a great distance, there are few places 
which could be more suitable for a short residence than 
the Highlands of Croatia, especially if the enjoyment of 
picturesque scenery be an object to them. 

On leaving Skrad, we continued our long descent, for 
the line of road had been gradually falling ever since we 
passed the lofty summit of the Snizniak, or Snow 
Mountain. The Ogulinerkopf now rose before us, and 
we followed the course of a small stream which winds 
through a lovely valley at its foot, and seeks its way to 
the river Kulpa. There was more and better cultivation 
to be seen around than we had yet met with in Croatia, 
and two villages, which we drove past, by name Szleme 
and Sernovatz, bore evidence of greater industry on the 
part of their inhabitants than was displayed in the 
retreats of the mountain Robinhoods, whose personal 
acquaintance we had so narrowly escaped the honour of 
making. After entering the romantic vale of the Dobra, 
we passed Moravicze, a colony of Serbs, and Lucon, 
another small community, and we now saw vineyards 
for the first time in Croatia. We stopped to dine at 



Szeverin, whicli had once been the feudal seat of a count ; 
but when we cast a glance on the miserable hotel where 
our coachman pulled up, we understood that our chance 
of obtaming a comfortable repast was still less propitious 
than it had been at our forest inn. To heighten our 
sense of disappohitment, we had at last found an 
exception to the Croatian rule of cleanly neatness which 
had here given place to the most implacable filth within 
doors. The host, who led us into the common eating 
room, was an un pleasing old man with one eye, who 
seemed to belono^ to that class of society from which 
waggoners are drawn, and of which our own charioteer 
appeared to be the Corypheus, for he had already seated 
himself at the head of a long unclothed and dirty table, 
around which some ten or twelve of his compeers were 
smoking and drinking, while his horses were left to the 
tender mercies of a boy not more than nine years old, 
w^ho filled the office of ostler. The nauseous and 
revolting smell of bad tobacco and worse wine, the coarse 
and loud sounds of drunken jocularity, and the inaus- 
picious sight of flushed faces and disordered dresses, 
suggested the propriety of an immediate retreat. The 
tavern-keeper, dreading the loss of such unwonted 
customers, followed us with eloquent assurances of the 
excellent fare he could place before us, and as we did 
not comprehend the names of the dishes he enumerated, 
we were easily convinced, like country judges when 
special pleaders quote Latin. Before the door we espied 
a noble beech-tree with a seat of turf around its stem, 
and there we directed that the delicate collation should 
be prepared for us. 

VOL. I. E 


We proceeded in the mean time to explore the 
country. The valley of Szeverin was green and wooded, 
rich in natural meadows, and varied by clumps of birch 
and mountain-ash, scattered about in lovely groups, with 
single trees occasionally standing out from their ranks 
like generals marshalling armies ; and the hills, which 
enclosed on every side this brilliant scene, were covered 
with gigantic forests, and undulated so gracefully, that 
they seemed an immense garland encircling the fair 
brows of smiling nature. 

The little boys had run on in front, and we heard 
their merry laugh as they scampered about among the 
trees and bushes ; a loud shout of joy, and then a shrill 
scream of terror immediately after it, made me hurry 
forward ; and I met them racing back to us as fast as 
their little legs could carry them, pale, trembhng, and 
breathless. They had found a bank of strawberry-plants, 
whose bright fruit sparkling under the leaves appeared 
a very California of countless wealth to them ; but they 
had scarcely attempted to collect their treasure, when 
they discovered an infinity of snakes, nestling on the 
ground in coils, or slowly dragging their tortuous length 
from the shade to bask in the noontide sunshine. Wiser 
than their first parent Eve, — less precocious than the 
baby Hercules, who first came out in the infant-pheno- 
menon-line by strangling his two serpents when he was 
only eight months old, as an earnest of his subsequent 
unparalleled success in a similar part with the Hydra of 
Lerna, — and by no means emulous of Cleopatra and 
her asp, — my youthful heroes took to their heels, 
and never stopped until they had reached us, as if 


they thoiiglit a whole legion of creeping things were pur- 
suing them. 

When reinforced, however, by our presence, they faced 
about, and boldly took us to the spot. Such a Pande- 
monium never existed ! St. Patrick himself could scarce 
have " bothered all the varmint " here, whatever he may 
have done in Ireland. The reptiles of Croatia seemed 
to have repudiated the supremacy of " that ould sarpint'' 
at Vienna, and to be holding their " assemhlee consti- 
tuante',' in the woods of Szeverin. 

We left them to their patriotic labours, and walked 
in the direction of a castle that appeared at a short dis- 
tance, on the brink of a thickly planted declivity of 
considerable height, and overhanging the river Kulpa. 
On approaching it we recognized all the features of an 
ancient seignorial residence, with its gardens, its park^ 
and its covered gateway ; but, as it bore a somewhat 
dilapidated aspect, we concluded that it was now un- 
inhabited, and finding the great iron door ajar, we 
ventured to penetrate into the inner quadrangle. Here 
we were met by half a dozen Croatian peasants, who 
addressed us civilly enough, but as none of them could 
speak German, we remained in ignorance of their mean- 
ing. One word we did understand, however, and as 
that word was Gospodia, or Lord, we inferred that the 
master of the house was living in it, but no one having 
shown the slightest symptom of hospitable intentions, 
we supposed that we had been invited to evacuate the 

We were soon convinced that the castle was occu- 
pied, for on quitting it, we looked round the interior of 

E 2 



he court, which offered an almost Oriental aspect, with 
its slender columns and verandahs ; and we saw at 
one of the windows two faces, over which no more than 
sixteen or seventeen summers could possibly have 
passed; and they were faces which looked as if they 
had no objections to being admired either. Their 
appearance was that of young ladies of good family, 
and as they seemed to gaze at us with the greatest 
curiosity, we conjectured that the holder of the castellany 
was a cross old Argus of a papa, who kept his fair 
daughters immured within these unsociable walls, which 
we straightway left. We strolled along the ridge ofi 
the high bank of the Kulpa, and at last sat down on 
some broken rocks which bounded our path, to rest our- 
selves and enjoy the view. The river swept majestically 
along towards the plain of Carlovatz; not a hidden 
shoal or the slightest breath of air ruffled its tranquil 
surface. Had its stream been always so serene from its 
source in the rugged mountains of Croatia ? And would 
its onward course to join the Save and then the Danube 
still continue as untroubled and as calm? My com- 
panion likened its appearance at Szeverin to a life, 
between a past not untinged with painful recollections, 
and a future full of doubts and fears, and sighed for a 
peaceful existence such as this, beyond the reach of 
that world, so niggard of its smiles, and so lavish of its 
frowns, adding that the only possible happiness is the 
absence of grief, — 

"And of hunger !" I exclaimed, for the hour which 
had been prescribed for our feast under the beech-tree 
was past, and the wants of nature, unrefreshed, were 


becoming imperative. We returned to our inn, and 
installed ourselves on the turf seats in expectation of 
the promised repast. While waiting for it, a poor old 
woman, the very picture of misery, approached us with 
a garrulous petition for charity, less intelligible than the 
eloquent appeal of her eyes and attitude. We asked 
the innkeeper for the change of an Austrian bank-note, 
in order that we might give her something, but he stared 
in astonishment at such an idea; coin had not been 
seen at Szeverin for many months. He took the note, 
tore it in four pieces, and bade us give the old woman 
one of them if we were so disposed, as it amounted to 
only a penny ; the whole sum represented by this class 
of paper currency was ten kreutzer, and by the present 
custom of the people, each fraction of it has the value 
of the corresponding proportion of the sum. Her gra- 
titude was as voluble as her supplication had been, and 
this time our knowledge of the Sclavonian dialects 
enabled us to distinguish tw^o w^ords, which were Velikoi 
hog a I or God is great ! What a state a country must be 
in, when no medium of exchange exists for the articles 
of smaller worth, of which the wants and resources of 
the greater part of the population necessarily consist. 
That specie should have totally disappeared in Austria, 
must surely be a symptom of the speedy dissolution of 
the Empire ; and one is even at a loss to comprehend 
how society can hold together at all, and not fall asunder 
by a violent convulsion, when its humbler and more 
numerous classes have no equivalent to convey the exact 
amount which they have daily to pay or receive in their 
petty trades and transactions. As we were sitting, for 



instance, suh tegmine fagi, two young girls passed 
with a basket of wild strawberries, culled probably in 
some garden of the Hesperides, where no dragons 
watched, and we thought it might be acceptable as a 
dessert after the meal we were about to partake of: we 
succeeded in communicating to them our proposal to 
purchase their whole stock in trade, and they intimated 
the amount of their demand with many smiles on their 
little sunburnt faces, and by the aid of their little dirty 
fingers ; but it was utterly impossible to meet it with any 
degree of precision, and as the alternative was naturally 
in their favour, being between a greater and a smaller 
sum than what they claimed, they danced off with their 
empty basket, shouting with delight at having realised 
so fair a profit on the exchange of their fragrant 
merchandize for a fragment of well-thumbed paper 
representing more than its current value. 

The inn-keeper now brought us our much-vaunted 
dinner in earthenware, on a wooden tray, the whole 
being colourless from the secular accumulation of filth. 
As for the contents of the disgusting vessels, they 
consisted in a greasy mixture with slices of cucumber 
floating on its surface, ambitiously styled, by the host, 
soup; a savory mess of onions fried in a Hquid sauce 
of rancid oil ; and an offensive stew of tripe, swimming 
in an ocean of melted hog's lard. The inspection was 
soon completed, and, as none of these dainty dishes 
could pass muster, we fell back on our reserve, the 
strawberries, and told the crest-fallen cook that be 
might eat the produce of his cuisine himself, while we 
would be satisfied with our dessert. He soon recovered 


his self-respect however, when he found himself called 
upon to supply information on the subject of the castle ; 
and for the credit of the Croatian aristocracy be it 
recorded, that its unhospitable occupant was not the 
hond fide representative of the ancient feudal family of 
Ortshitsh, to which it belonged, but a banker of Vienna, 
a creditor of the noble Count, who had obtained a 
life-rent of the estate in lieu of a debt, while the heir of 
entail was serving in the army in expectation of his 

Having now nothing further to detain us at Szeverin, 
we soon got packed into our carriage, and we travelled, 
during the remainder of the day, through a country 
still beautiful, but of a much tamer character than that 
which we had hitherto seen in Croatia. There was 
abundant cultivation ; the crops of wheat were full 
and heavy, the fields of potatoes and beans were well 
hoed, and clumps of trees were interspersed with the 
arable land in rich profusion, giving an appearance to 
the landscape much resembling that of the midland 
counties of England. The enclosures, especially, were 
remarkable, as they consisted chiefly of well-trimmed 
hawthorn hedges, and hedge-row trees were alone 
wanting to complete their similarity to those of our own 
most careful farmers. We observed, even here, that 
women alone w^ere engaged in agricultural labour, as in 
the higher and less cultivated country through which we 
had passed ; while the men seemed to occupy themselves 
only in driving wood and charcoal on the roads, which 
were covered with long lines of waggons thus laden and 
descending to the plain. The villages were miserable 


beyond description. They generally consisted of a group 
of wretched wooden huts, surrounded by a high paling 
to protect them. Uncombed, half naked children were 
wallowing in the mire before the doors, together with 
pigs and poultry. No churches or schools were visible ; 
the only dwellings of a better class were those of the 
overseers of the lord of the soil ; and the whole presented 
an image of squalid barbarism, that told a sad tale of 
the mediaeval condition of society still existing in Europe 
in the nineteenth century. The names of these practical 
anachronisms were Glavicza, Vukova Goricza, Pritishe, 
Jelsza, and Dubovacz. 




The people of this unhappy country were indeed fit 
instruments for the suppression of the revolution, two 
years ago, under the walls of Vienna. Blind and abject 
followers of a venal and tyrannical leader, they were 
saved from universal contempt only by their undeniable 
bravery on the field of battle. At Carlovacz, where we 
arrived in the evening, we saw six companies of one 
of the Croatian regiments which Jellachich then com- 
manded ; they displayed the Sclavonian characteristics of 
fair hair and blue eyes, and they were fine-looking men, 
with a most soldierly bearing, although they were far 
from evincing that degree of neatness in their dress 
which we are accustomed to consider as one of the first 
effects and principal indications of a good military organ- 
ization. Their white coats were generally soiled, and 
always carelessly put on, while their dark blue tight 
pantaloons, braided with white woollen cord, and their 
half-boots, laced over their ankles, like highlows, did 
not seem ever to have been made for their respective 
wearers. Their distinctions of rank were marked by 
one, two, or three stars on the collar, those of the non- 


commissioned officers being in worsted, and the officers 
having them embroidered in gold. These troops, who 
have hitherto been faithful to the House of Hapsburgh, 
are allowed to serve in their own country, — a privilege 
which is withheld from the Hungarians, who are for the 
most part quartered in the Austrian dominions of Italy; 
and from the Lombards, who are marched about the 
German possessions of the Kaiser, who thus makes the 
heterogeneous elements composing his empire guard 
each other, by stationing a garrison of foreigners where 
the natives are disaffected. But his Croatian subjects 
are likely soon to be suspected also ; for I learnt at 
Carlovacz, with some degree of certainty, that if another 
attempt on the part of the Magyars should take place, 
they will be eagerly joined by the Croats. It appears 
that the former people still hope to achieve, if not com- 
plete national independence, at least more liberal insti- 
tutions than they have as yet enjoyed under the Austrian 
rule ; and that another insurrection is projected, which 
is not intended to break out until its principles shall 
have spread over all the Sclavonian provinces of the 
Austrian empire; while the Croatians now understand 
the error they fell into by opposing the Hungarians, 
and will in future make common cause with them. 
They were induced to follow their Ban in his campaign 
against Hungary, by promises of political enfranchise- 
ments, and of diminutions in their fiscal burdens, which 
promises have subsequently been belied by him ; and he 
is now as unpopular among them as he was formerly 
revered. Their natural sympathies are all in favour of 
the Hungarians, although they equally object to a 



Magyar supremacy ; and the general discontent, which 
seems to be growing amongst the inhabitants of Austria 
who do not belong to the Germanic race, is rife in 
Croatia. It is, therefore, probable, that in the future 
inevitable vicissitudes of the empire this people will 
appear in a new light, and a widely different one from 
that in which they have lately made themselves known. 

The Croatians form part of the Sclavoriian nation. 
The word nation implies either a political idea or a 
mere historical fact ; and the latter case is applicable to 
the present condition of the Sclavonians, for their origin 
is all that now remains to identify them with the great- 
ness of their ancestors. We see nations rise, and others 
fall, as the history of the world proves that they, like 
the individuals of whom they are composed, have their 
youth, their maturity, and their decrepitude ; but there 
the parallel ceases, for they never die. Although they 
may linger on for ages in apparently hopeless prostration, 
the day must ultimately dawn when they will suddenly 
issue forth from that state to enjoy a new lease of life ; 
and notwithstanding that their summer and autumn 
may have been merged in a long winter, their slum- 
bering energies will at last be renovated by the return 
of another spring, and the sap reascend the seemingly 
withered trunk to produce anew its leaves, its blossoms, 
and its fruit. Thus have fallen the Assyrians, the 
Persians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans: 
of these the two latter are showing symptoms of regene- 
ration, and the first of the five great races will probably 
> soon follow their example. 

The frequent struggles of Italy, and especially the 


events of the last three years are the harbingers of the 
resurrection of the Romans, if that race still preserves 
the germ of national power, vrhich is, to say the least of 
it, exceedingly problematical. And these same events 
have roused the modern Assyrians from their state of 
torpor ; as they have also been the signal of the decline 
and apparently approaching fall of the French and 
Germanic races, which are fast sinking under the blight- 
ing influences of exaggerated democratical principles and 
vitiated rehgious faith. 

The descendants of the Assyrians, who are no other 
than the Sclavonians, are placed in immediate contact 
with a portion of the Germans in the Austrian empire ; 
and the consciousness of moral and intellectual supe- 
riority, spurred on by the general movement of Europe, 
will no longer submit to the forced subjection under 
which past ages have placed them. Hatred and con- 
tempt are universally felt by the population of these 
extensive provinces, which is almost exclusively Sclavo- 
nian, for the small proportion of the inhabitants of the 
duchy of Austria ; and unerring indications are exhibited 
of the latter succumbing, and of the former prevailing. 

In Turkey, the Sclavonians share the advantages 
bestowed on the Greeks, and there they have already 
commenced their career of pacific emancipation ; while 
in Russia alone, with the exception of the ten millions 
of spirited Ruthenians, they lie still prostrate and op- 
pressed under the vigorous despotism of their Czar. 

That the Sclavonic race is really a remnant of the 
ancient Assyrian nation, seems not to admit of a doubt. 
The opinion, which prevailed for several centuries, that 


it had appeared in Europe long after the settlement of 
the Germans, has now fallen before the deeper researches 
of recent historians. The learned Pole, Michael Lelewel, 
established the fact, that the Sclavonians existed in 
eastern Europe during the predominance of the Roman 
republic, and many years before the invasion of the 
Asiatic tribes that overthrew it ; and the distinguished 
poet of the same country, Adam Miczkiavitch, demon- 
strated the great similitude which is perceptible between 
the remains of the Assyrian language and the different 
Sclavonic dialects now spoken. All the Assyrian names 
which have reached us are translatable by words of the 
modem Sclavonian languages ; and the inscriptions found 
in Asia, which have baffled the attempts to explain them 
by the assistance of Greek, Hebrew, Persian, and Chal- 
dean, are easily read by means of their analogy with 
Sclavonian expression. Thus the name of Nebuchad- 
nezzar is formed of the Sclavonian words "- Ne huliod no 
tsar'' which signify " No God but the king ; " and this 
exactly corresponds with the " Non est JDeus nisi rex^ of 
the Book of Judith, in allusion to Nebuchadnezzar. For 
their impiety in worshipping and adoring their kings as 
gods, as is assumed by several erudite authorities, the 
Sur and Ashur, (Syrians and Assyrians,) were driven 
out of Asia, and have lingered for thirty centuries in 
abject submission to strangers ; so much so, indeed, that 
their modern name of Sclavonian is the root from which 
the word, slave, is derived in almost every European 
language ; and from that of one of their tribes, the 
Serbians, or Serbs, originated the term, serf. However 
this may be, and whatever may have been the cause of 


their fall, history shows that they disappeared from Asia, 
and a numerous race arose in Europe, speaking the same 
language, and offering many other points of similarity ; 
it is therefore but reasonable to conclude that they are 
one people, and that the Sclavonians are identical with 
the Assyrians. They are thus a remnant of the most 
ancient empire on earth ; founded in the country now 
called Kurdistan, by Nimrod, " the mighty hunter 
before the Lord," who was elected their first king on 
account of the skill and courage he displayed in tracking 
and destroying the wild beasts which had then multi- 
plied after the deluge ; and dating from the year of the 
world, 1800, when the descendants of Chanaan, the son 
of Ham, took their name from the land of Ashur, whence 
Nimrod ejected the posterity of Shem, and in which he 
built the town of Nineveh. 

After thirty generations of weakness and vice, during 
which their kings styled themselves the kings of kings, 
and several of them were deified, as Nimrod was under 
the name of Belus, and after having appeared in profane, 
as well as in sacred history, as a great and warlike people, 
when they assisted Priam in the Trojan war, under their 
leader Memnon, their ancient dynasty became extinct 
in the person of the infamous Sardanapalus, when he put 
himself to death in the year of the world 3257. Their 
empire was then divided into the three kingdoms of 
Babylon, Nineveh, and Media, and these were finally 
united with that of the Persians under Cyrus, in the year 
of the world 3468, or 609 B.C. On the destruction of 
Babylon and Nineveh, they spread over the vast tract of 
country extending from the mountains of Macedon and 


the eastern shores of the Adriatic to the Arctic Ocean ; 
and their language is now spoken, with some variation, 
it is true, in the northern provinces of Turkey, in the 
greatest part of the Austrian empire, in Prussian Poland 
and Silesia, and over the whole of Russia in Europe. 

The modern Sclavonic race, numbering, according to 
some, eighty-five, and according to others no less than 
a hundred millions, being the most numerous people in 
Europe, and, with the sole exception of the Chinese, the 
most numerous in the world, forms a subject, not only 
of ethnological interest, but also of political importance ; 
and the examination and study of its power, extent, and 
actual condition, are forced on every one who seriously 
considers the probable destinies of Europe, especially in 
the present age of rapid and startling changes. The 
Bulgarians, Serbians, Bosnians, and Croats of Turkey, 
together with the small tribe of Montenegrins, amount 
to upwards of seven millions; in Russia there are 
thirty-five millions of Muscovite Sclavonians, and ten 
millions of Ruthenians belonging to the same race ; while 
the Poles, also Sclavonians, form' a population of twenty 
millions, divided between Russia, Austria, and Prussia; 
and the lUyrians, Austrian Croats, Dalmatians, Silesians 
of Austria, Bohemians, Moravians, and Hungarians, ex- 
clusive of the Magyar tribe, constitute eighteen millions of 
the inhabitants of the Austrian empire. The Sclavonians 
are thus more than a third part of the whole population 
of Europe ; they are nowhere ruled by a native dynasty, 
for the Emperors of Russia are more Germans than 
Sclavonians, while there exists but one reigning family 
of Sclavonic origin, the Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg, 


and they govern another people. The Muscovite branch 
is the lowest in the scale of social and intellectual 
condition; that ruled by the Sultan is now in the 
course of regeneration by the system of equality lately 
introduced among the different races of his subjects ; and 
the Austrian portion, still oppressed, is evidently strug- 
gling to rise from the state of passive degradation in 
which the whole nation has been immersed for centuries, 
with the sole exception of the Poles, who are now again 
reduced to it. In Austria there are only six millions of 
Germans to control twenty-three millions of Sclavonians, 
including those of Austrian Poland; and in Prussia, 
exclusive of the Rhenish provinces, three millions and a 
half of Germans to four millions of them. These pro- 
portions are pregnant with great results, for this people 
is now almost everywhere displaying a high degree of 
national energy. They have given birth to a new 
branch of literature, and in many of the states incor- 
porated in the German dominions they write vigorously 
and successfully on their own condition and destinies, 
especially in Austria, where their dream is national 
unity; and they evince a stubborn perseverance in the 
pursuit of this theme, which, it were blindness to deny, 
must produce, if not its full realization, at least a serious 
endeavour to attain their object. They are essentially 
an intellectual and a warlike race, and these two ele- 
ments of national character, when united, can never fail 
in generating remarkable events. Whatever be their 
ultimate issue, and however they may turn, they will 
attract the attention of Europe, and influence its pro- 
sperity, becoming consequently most interesting to Eng- 


land, the workshop which supplies the continent, and 
the factory whose returns must greatly depend on the 
wealth of its customers. It is, therefore, time that the 
subject should be considered, in order that the probable 
results of this incipient fermentation may be rightly 
appreciated, ere they take us by surprise. 

The common origin of the Sclavonic race has given 
rise to a spirit of nationality, which is greatly encouraged 
by the contiguity of the States peopled by it, though 
they be under different sovereigns. The various tribes 
are thus connected both by national sympathies and by 
geographical circumstances, as well as by the similarity 
of language, which, when alone, is but a weak bond, as 
we have seen in the fate of the Germanic dream of 
nationality, extending " so weit die Beutsclie zunge 
Klingt^' and leading the country by this fallacious test 
into an incoherent struggle with a neighbouring inde- 
pendent state, whose historical nationality is in the main 
Scandinavian. This spirit of Sclavonic nationality was 
first roused by the ambition of Russia, who hoped thus 
to steal a march on the Turkish, Austrian, and Prussian 
sovereigns of portions of that great race ; but in Turkey 
it soon became anti-Russian in its tendency, through 
measures adopted for the equalisation of the population 
having pointed out that the future prospects under 
the Sultan were more promising than that of sharing 
the condition imposed by the iron rule of the Czar on 
the Muscovite Sclavonians ; while in Austria and in 
Prussia the boasted paternal system of government of 
the House of Hapsburgh and the professed enlighten- 
ment and constitutionalism of that of Brandenburgh, 

VOL. I. F 


turned the balance, and Russian Panslavisni was out- 
weighed in all the scales. 

The Sultan gave his Sclavonian subjects a palpable 
proof of his intentions by proclaiming the tanzimat, 
which is their title to equality before the law, and to 
religious tolerance. The Emperor said to his people, 
" Be quiet, and I will make you rich and happy;" the 
King declared to his, " Be united, and I will make you 
free;" but the pacific empire of thirty-seven millions, 
including its Italian population, and the military king- 
dom of fifteen millions, have been convulsed from their 
centres to their circumferences ; from Vienna, the anoma- 
lous nucleus of an agglomeration of heterogeneous 
states, and from Berlin, that great barrack-full of sol- 
diers and college-full of students, to the utmost confines 
of their respective Sclavonian provinces ; while the 
Ottoman power, possessing barely nine milHons of in- 
habitants in Europe, to counterbalance seven millions of 
Sclavonians, is steadily progressing in material and poli- 
tical prosperity. This arises from the fact, that the two 
great German monarchies have merely a forced exist- 
ence, neither founded on national feehng nor on a com- 
munity of interests, but patched up by treaties and 
matrimonial alliances, which have drawn their frontier 
lines on the map without uniting their subjects by any 
bond capable of producing permanent strength. This 
cannot be said of Turkey ; and even Russia has a 
decided advantage over them, although it be derived 
from a diflPerent source ; for her antiquated systems and 
overwhelming despotism, more Asiatic and mediaeval in 
their character than European and modern, serve the 


same end with regard to the tranquiUity of the Sclavo- 
nians for the present. 

Had the Austrian Emperor followed up the idea 
which was proposed in the reign of Joseph II., that 
they should make their empire purely Sclavonic, by 
withdrawing from Italy and giving up their proportion- 
ately inconsiderable German dominions, a powerful state 
might have been formed, and its present artificial con- 
dition would have become a natural one, while it might 
possibly have drawn to it a great portion of the other 
Sclavonian countries ; but they allowed the scheme of 
Panslavism to be appropriated by Russia, and they 
gave time to Turkey to enter on a career of reform, 
which has closed the door to them for ultimate consoli- 
dation. Their provinces in the meantime have neces- 
sarily revolted; the Magyars were the opponents of 
Panslavism, and they were in their turn opposed by the 
Sclavonians, who aided in suppressing their revolution ; 
but there is now every reason to believe that, if another 
attempt be made, as appears probable, the two causes 
will be united in Austria to overthrow her tottering 

The Croats were the first of the Sclavonian tribes 
which. I had an opportunity of studying, and Carlovacz 
was the first Croatian town which we visited. It is one 
of the principal places of Austrian Croatia, Situated in 
the centre of an extensive and fertile plain near the con- 
fluence of the three rivers, Kulpa, Corana, and Dobra, 
Avhich water it, and occupying an advantageous position 
for the trade between the interior of the province and the 
sea-coast, as well as for military purposes, this favoured 

F 2 


spot has been endowed with all the gifts which nature 
could bestow ; but, although profusely lavished on it, 
they are far from having been adequately improved. The 
houses are chiefly built of wood, and ill-constructed, with 
the exception of the public edifices and a few mercantile 
estabhshments ; the streets are so very badly paved that 
the coachman walked his horses over the irregular and 
rough stones lest his springs should break ; and it was 
very evident that Carlovacz was innocent of barricades — 
for it is one of the effects of that rebellious little 
manoeuvre, and perhaps not the least beneficial of them, 
that, when all is over, the thoroughfares are repaired. 

The warlike defences of the place are of so weak 
a character that no garrison could hold out any length 
of time against a well-directed assault. The town con- 
sists of a small number of streets and squares within the 
ramparts, a separate fort containing two churches and 
several dwelling-houses, and a populous suburb, feebly 
connected with the fortifications by a ditch and palisades. 
The works once stood a siege, however, when they were 
successfully de tended against the Turks by Charles of 
Steyermark, or Styria, in the year 1579, shortly after the 
town had been lounded by the fugitives from Southern 
Croatia, which had then fallen into the hands of the 
Turks. The population of Carlovacz now amounts to 
about seven thousand. 

As the day after our arrival was a Sunday, we went to 
the Greek church, where mass was celebrated in Croa- 
tian, the members of the Eastern Christian communion 
in Croatia belonging almost exclusively to the class called 
United, which is so assiduously protected by the Czar as 


a means of reconciling his Roman Catholic subjects in 
Poland with the Sclavonians, who acknowledged the 
exclusive supremacy of the patriarch of Constantinople, 
and who now admit that of the Pope, and hold the fasts 
and festivals of the Church of Rome. The centre of the 
building was filled with soldiers, who had piled their fire- 
locks in irregular heaps against the door-posts ; and the 
gynec(2um was crowded with ladies, dressed as for a ball, 
with flowers and feathers in their hair, and wearing 
embroidered gowns and scarfs of the lightest materials. 

There were also in the doorway many peasants, 
decked in their Sunday's best ; the men in wide trousers 
of coarse white cotton^ with a double row of what French 
milliners call entre deux round the lower part of each leg, 
after the fashion of those worn by some little boys of 
that nation, whose fashionable mammas pay almost as 
much attention to their sons' toilette as to their educa- 
tion ; outside these trousers the loose shirt fell to the 
knees of the dandified Croatian boors, and its flowing 
sleeves wxre un confined by the black woollen jacket, 
which partook more of the nature of a waistcoat ; a large 
square bag covered with red cloth was invariably slung 
over their shoulders ; and a broad-brimmed felt hat with 
a pair of laced half-boots, or of coarse red sandals, com- 
pleted the costume. The hat was of a peculiar form, the 
outer edge of the brim being raised as high as the 
crown, and a circular receptacle for light commodities 
was thus provided, which I saw on other occasions duly 
occupied by various articles, such as vegetables, maca- 
roni, or even fresh butter in a cabbage-leaf. The women 
were clothed in long white cotton garments, to which I 


will not venture to assign a name, as I cannot conscien- 
tiously call them gowns ; veils of the same stuff covered 
their hair, which fell in long plaits down their backs, and 
a silver arrow generally crossed the top of their heads, 
raising the veils and protecting their faces from the 
burning sun. In addition to this equipment, some of 
the young girls wore tight red embroidered jackets, 
black leather girdles studded with brass knobs, and 
strings of bright beads round their necks, which gave 
a gay and flaunting air to their general appearance. 

As I stood near the door of the church observing the 
people who w^re pouring into it, one of the country 
waggons drove up at the smart trot of three horses 
abreast; and a lady descended from it with a many- 
coloured silk parasol in one hand, a richly-bound prayer- 
book in the other, and a lace cap with bright ribbons 
on her head. When she had vacated her seat, I per- 
ceived that it consisted in a bag of straw, which contrasted 
strangely with the ostentation of her attire ; and, indeed, 
the humility of her equipage was remarkable, for we saw 
several carriages at Carlovacz as well turned out as 
those in most small German towns, although in this 
case it was merely constructed of rude wicker-work, 
without springs ; the small and wild-looking horses were 
harnessed with old ropes, and the coachman reminded 
me much of the Croatian woodsmen, whose predatory 
feats in the forest of the Kappella Gebirge were repeated 
to us also in this town. There seemed to be nothing 
unusual, however, in the collective appearance of the lady 
and her waggon ; for they did not attract the notice of 
any one but myself. 


The images in the church were not engraved on plates 
of silver with the faces alone painted on wood, as is 
generally the case in Greece, but they were ordinary 
pictures, such as are raised over Roman Catholic altars ; 
and there were none of those sculptured objects of 
worship which abound in the latter. The choir-singing 
was more consistent with a correct musical taste than is 
ever practised in the Christian temples of the East, 
which was another characteristic of the United Greek 
Church, who has banished from her service the nasal 
chanting of the Constantinople clergy. The congregation 
seemed to be exceedingly devout; almost every one joined 
in the Psalms, and, although genuflections were wanting, 
the signing of the cross, from right to left and with three 
fingers, as in the Greek Church, instead of from left to 
right with the whole hand, as the Roman Catholics do, 
was most assiduous. 

When we returned to the inn, we saw a person of 
respectable appearance, who bowed to us as he stood at 
the door when we passed. A short time afterwards, 
I went out again ; he was still there, and he bowed a 
second time most gravely. A party of soldiers were 
preparing a four-wheeled cart for their conveyance to an 
outpost, and, as I remained looking at their mode of 
yoking their horses, the gentleman remarked to me 
in German, that the journey would not be an agreeable 
one without any species of shelter from the scorching 
rays of the sun. I assented to this proposition; and 
from common-place to common-place our conversation 
advanced to a footing sufficiently established to admit of 
his politely inquiring what countryman I was. When 


he was satisfied on this point, he said that I must have 
experienced a very sudden change of climate in coming 
direct from London. I repHed that some time had 
passed since I left England ; and, after much manoeuvring 
he succeeded in extracting from me that I had been 
lately in Paris. 

" A great many foreigners,'* he then remarked, 
" whose political opinions are too liberal to suit the 
taste of the present re-actionary government of the 
French Republic, have now left Paris, in consequence of 
the infamous circular of the Prefect of Police, ordering 
an inquiry into the circumstances of all strangers." 

I expressed some surprise that the latest intelligence 
from Paris should be so well known in the wilds of 
Croatia; and he was equally astonished that I should 
have found it necessary to come so far. Before I could 
obtain any explanation of this strange insinuation, he 
went on to question me with regard to the truth of a 
report, which he alleged to be current, that Kossuth was 
concealed in Paris instead of being in Asia Minor ; and 
his manner became quite mysterious and confidential, as 
he passed to the discussion of the character of Haynau, 
whom he qualified as the most sanguinary monster that 
ever lived, a gentleman by profession, but a butcher by 
nature ; and he concluded by assuring me that another 
insurrection would soon take place in Hungary. I told 
him that I knew nothing of the movements either of 
Kossuth, whom I beheved to be in Turkey, or of his 
future imitators, if any such there might be; but he 
smiled incredulously, and, taking leave of me, hurried 
away. Not half-an-hour later, I was in rav room, when 


a Serjeant of Police opened the door and ordered me to 
accompany him instantly to his superior. I did so, but 
not without leaving a considerable degree of anxiety and 
alarm with my poor companion on account of this 
ominous incident, and having scarcely been allowed 
sufficient time to take the necessary precaution of pro- 
viding for any immediate inconvenience which might 
possibly arise from my not returning so soon as might 
be wished. I was soon ushered into the presence of 
two persons in a large room at the Town Hall. As 
I entered, I caught a glimpse of the individual with 
whom I had conversed at the door of the inn, and I 
then understood the motive and means which had pro- 
cured me the honour of being presented to those who 
seemed desirous of forming my acquaintance. They 
were seated, with their hats on their heads, and they 
neither uncovered themselves nor offered me a chair. 
I had taken off my hat in going into the room, but when 
I saw how I was received, 1 put it on again in the most 
emphatic manner that I could assume. 

" Have you a passport ? " asked one of them, without 
making the slightest attempt at civility. I handed him 
the document alluded to, as being the best answer to his 

" Is this your name written here ? " he continued. 

"Yes." ' 

" And where is your profession ? " 

" Nowhere." 

" Why not ? " 

" Because I have none." 

The two worthies then whispered to each other for 


some time, occasionally casting an ofiensive glance at 
me, as I stood before them, and then resuming their 
examination of my passport, which, being in English, 
it was evident they could not read. 

" What does this mean ? " inquired one of them, 
looking up at last and pointing to the term " Esquire," 
which was inscribed after my name. 

" Esquire," said I, " is rendered in German by the 
word schildknapp or ecuyer when the French term is 

" To whom are you ecui/er ?'' 

" To no one." 

" Why is it in your passport in that case ? " 

" Because it is the practice in England to bestow that 
title on gentlemen who have no other." 

Again they exchanged a few hurried sentences in an 
under tone. 

" Then you are a gentleman ? " asked the elder of the 
two, with an ironical expression of countenance. 

" I hope so ; " I replied. " Have you anything to 
say to the contrary ? " 

" I have only to say that there is something wrong in 
all this," retorted the official. 

" Can you point out any irregularity in my passport ? " 
said I. " That is the only question which you have the 
power to raise. If you cannot detect a flaw, I have 
a right to claim full liberty to pass through the town of 
Carlovacz. My passport is countersigned by the Austrian 
Ambassador in Paris, and you cannot dispute the per- 
mission which was secured to me by him when he 
authorized me to travel in Austria." 


One of the Police censors then withdrew, probably to 
consult a superior ; and when he returned, my passport 
was carefully docketed by him for the next town, and 
handed to me with a surly growl ; while the other inti- 
mated to me a peremptory order to quit Carlovacz on the 
following morning; and I replied that such was my 
intention independently of any wish of his. I left the 
office without further protracting our conversation, which 
consisted, as nearly as possible, in the preceding inter- 
rogatory. Here then was an instance of the Austrian 
system of mean espionnage and fastidious surveillance ; a 
system which a witty statesman of our own felicitously 
apologised for mentioning in Parliament by these French 
designations, for the corresponding words do not even 
exist in the English language ; and a system which is as 
inefficient as it is dishonourable, and even more ridicu- 
lous than it is impolitic. 

We dined at the taUe d'hote. There were eighteen or 
twenty persons there besides ourselves ; several of them 
were military officers, and one wore on his collar the 
insignia of a Colonel. We were much astonished to see 
the manner in which they were treated by two young 
girls who waited at table. They slapped them on the 
back and pulled their hair, with loud shouts of laughter. 
When one of the young men called for more wine, they 
answered that he had already had more than was good 
for him, and that they would not give him another drop. 
The dauisels were not far wrong there, but the gentle- 
man seemed to take a different view of what was good 
for him, and, snatching the key of the cellar by force, he 
went to help himself. During "his absence, one of the 

70 TABLE d'hote. 

young waiting-maids carried off his plate of strawberries 
and hid it. This gave rise to a charming little scene on 
his return with a bottle of wine in each hand, and an 
amicable arrangement of their differences having been 
concluded, the two girls very coolly took their seats at a 
side-table, and commenced dining in their turn, while a 
constant interchange of jokes and tricks was carried on 
between the two parties. 

At this stage of the entertainment the door was opened, 
and there appeared a melancholy young man with a 
violin, an interesting young woman bearing a harp, and 
another interesting young woman with a guitar ; ail three 
bearing also a strong resemblance to each other. They 
took up a humble position in a corner, and began play- 
ing waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, and polka-mazurkas, most 
admirably. They looked so modest and so unhappy, 
that we indulged in a poetical supposition that they 
were a brother and two sisters in reduced circumstances, 
who supported their infirm and aged parents by the 
innocent exercise of the talents and accomplishments 
acquired in a higher sphere of life. Our disgust at the 
coarse manners of the Croatian officers, and of the gen- 
tlemen of Carlovacz, was heightened when we saw them 
chucking the distressed sisters under the chin and patting 
their cheeks, as they went round the table with a sheet 
of music to receive our alms in ; but, unfortunately for 
our little romance, the fair supplicants smilingly accepted 
these insulting familiarities with as much apparent satis- 
faction as they did the zwanzigers. 

Everything seemed to go wrong with us at Carlovacz, 
and we rose from the tahle d'hote, declaring it to be a 


detestable place; for, besides the grievances already 
mentioned, our beds were bad, hard, and damp ; the 
savages gave us genuine bond jide camomile flowers 
immersed in a jug of lukewarm water when w^e asked 
for tea on our arrival after a fatiguing day's journey; 
and no one can receive an agreeable impression of a 
town under such aggravating circumstances. 

We enjoyed a delightful walk, however, in the evening. 
On passing the Roman Catholic church of the Barmher- 
zige Maria, an epithet corresponding to the Italian title 
of the Madonna della Misericordia, we heard the sound ■ 
of an organ, and entered by one of the side-doors. The 
vespers were nearly concluded, and we walked round 
the building, which was altogether uninteresting, with 
the exception of a w^ooden statue that attracted our 
attention : it represented St. Stephen, not the Proto- 
martyr, but the first Hungarian king. The figure was 
clothed in a rich and bright-coloured national costume, 
and on the head was placed a facsimile of that crown 
which was used at the coronation of all the sovereigns 
of Hungary, and which has now been carried ofi" by 
Kossuth. Stephen was a good Christian and a great 
monarch ; but in the church of Carlovacz, I must say 
that in my eyes he cut rather a strange figure as a Saint, 
in the uniform of our 11th Regiment of Hussars, with 
their richly embroidered jacket and hanging pelisse, their 
tight red nether garments and Hessian boots, for that 
gallant corps wears the exact counterpart of the Hunga- 
rian dress. It was surely an eccentric idea to put some 
of our light cavalry regiments into the national costume 
of another country ; and how odd it must appear to the 


Magyars, that English dragoons should thus imitate their 
peculiar equipment ! We might quite as well have the 
Coldstream regiment of Guards accoutred as Chinese; 
and the Austrians would not be more inconsistent than 
we are, if they were to give the Highland garb to their 

On the glacis we found the nobility of Carlovacz, 
promenading to the sounds of a military band; there 
were many well-dressed people of both sexes, and of all 
ages, bearing about them, at the same time, that inde- 
scribable stamp which Parisians call provincial; and 
Austrian officers, of every rank, literally swarmed in 
numerous groups, easily distinguishable from those of 
the Croatian regiment by their isolated position, as well 
as by their uniform ; for the Germans seemed to live 
as strangers in the land, without associating with the 

Afterwards we strolled along the banks of the Corana 
— visited several gardens, both public and private, and 
we returned to our odious inn to prepare for an early 
start on the following morning. 




We were up betimes, and on our way. At half a mile 
from the town we entered that long belt of country which 
extends from Dalmatia to Moldavia, and which is called 
the Military Frontiers. It includes the southernmost 
parts of Croatia, Sclavonia, Hungary, and Transylvania. 
It measures 900 miles in length, covering an area of 
between three and four thousand square miles. In this 
territory every peasant is a soldier ; the administration 
of civil afiairs is conducted by the officers of the 
Frontier Corps ; and the divisions of the country are 
not by provinces, districts, or parishes, but by Regi- 
ments, battahons, and companies, as indicated by sign- 
posts at their respective boundaries. The Empress Maria 
Theresa was the founder of this singular system, and 
her object was the establishment of a military cordon, 
to protect her provinces from the hostile attacks of her 
Turkish neighbours, and from the plague, which occa- 
sionally appeared in Bosnia and Serbia at that time. 
The principle is still maintained in full vigour, although 
the troops, thus enrolled, are now employed elsewhere 
when required for other purposes, as they have been for 


the last two years, when different parts of the Empire 
were disturbed by insurrections. Two hundred thousand 
men are, therefore, added by this means to the standing 
force of Austria ; and they cost the Imperial Treasury 
merely the outlay for arming them, as they receive neither 
pay nor^ rations, excepting when removed from their 
regular quarters for the purposes of war, and they are 
then fed; but never paid nor clothed at the public 
expense, being allowed to seek compensation in plunder, 
as much from their fellow-subjects as from the enemy. 
Their ordinary routine of service is to mount guard in 
the watch-towers of the cordon, where they remain a 
week ; they are then relieved, and they go to the head- 
quarters of their company to be drilled for another week ; 
after this they are again on duty at their posts for a 
week : and they are allowed to return to their homes to 
pass the last week of each month in agricultural labour. 
Their wretched condition may easily be conceived, as 
their families are supported on the produce of one quarter 
of their work; and the neglected state of husbandry, 
which we soon remarked, was a necessary consequence of 
the life they were obliged to lead. We saw a great many 
of these peasant-soldiers, and they certainly looked more 
like beggars than either peasants or soldiers. Clothed in 
rags, with rude sandals on their stockingless feet, they 
wore their crossbelts, bayonets, and pouches, apparently 
without ever thinking of cleaning them ; and over their 
shoulders a filthy bag was generally thrown, for the 
purpose of conveying their bread and vegetables to their 
posts, for they have no other food. Some of them were 
mere boys, of thirteen or fourteen years of age, dragged 



from their families and their work to idle away their 
time in a guard-house, and to learn the hardships and 
vices of their older comrades. It cannot be expected that 
a population so situated can have much intrinsic worth, 
or should be attached to the government ; and, from all 
I could learn, it appears certain that, if Austria should 
again be plunged into internal difficulties, which it seems 
hardly possible for her to avoid, not only will the inha- 
bitants of the Military Frontiers decline repeating the 
part they have played of late for the repression of civil 
disorders, but they will also take advantage of the first 
favourable opportunity to turn those arms, of which they 
have been taught the use, against the power which con- 
deams them to such intolerable evils. If they made no 
attempt to better their condition by violence, when the 
greatest part of the Empire was at war with the Emperor, 
it was chiefly because they had always been kept in a 
state of such complete ignorance, that they were taken by 
surprise when they heard of the rising of the Italians, 
Viennese, and Hungarians, and did not understand the 
movement ; but, now that they have become acquainted 
with the existence of a spirit of independence, and have 
seen the possibility of resistance, even in the field of 
battle, their disposition is no longer that of abject sub- 
mission and blind obedience to their rulers. 

The country we were now travelling through was 
eminently adapted to the purposes and vicissitudes of 
a revolutionary war, being easy of defence, and offering 
inaccessible retreats, without having much ground on 
which a regular army could manoeuvre. A foreign 
state, close at hand, would provide a safe asylum in the 

VOL. I. G 


event of defeat, for the Bosnian hills rose on our right 
at a distance of only a few miles, and the Turkish system 
of hospitality under such circumstances is based on an 
unalterable religious principle. 

Those hills were not very lofty, and they seemed to 
be covered with wood to their very summits. The 
landscape was on all sides beautiful in the extreme, but 
there was little cultivation visible, and the population 
was apparently scanty. We were in the territory of the 
Szluiner Regiment, which takes its name from a small 
village on the river Corana, in the neighbourhood of 
which there is a picturesque old castle ; and, near the 
latter, a waterfall is formed by the stream Szluinchicza, 
which issues from a grotto in a volume of water, suf- 
ficient to turn several mills, and then rolls over a rock 
about eighteen feet high, and a hundred wide. We 
drove for some hours through a long succession of rich 
valleys watered by small rivers tributary to the Kulpa 
and Corana, on the banks of which, occasional hamlets, 
in sad contrast to the fertile resources of nature, lay 
partly in ruins, scarcely inhabited, and bearing ample 
testimony to the woful degradation of their few occu- 
pants. Everything about them was in the most un- 
improved state ; we passed a flour-mill, for instance ; it 
was contained in a hovel, hardly larger than those which 
serve as dwellings for imclean animals in England, and 
not nearly so cleanly in appearance ; a horizontal cogr 
wheel of rude construction was turned by a fall of water 
led past it, and the mill-stone was moved by it, without 
any intermediate mechanical contrivance to increase its 
force, or add to its rapidity of evolution. 


The first place of any importance which we reached 
was Woinich. Here there were several good houses, the 
property of the company raised in the neighbourhood ; 
and rows of trees planted along the road, which was 
broad and straight, contributed to create an external 
show of prosperity about the town ; but a close inspec- 
tion soon enabled us to detect how superficial it was. 
After staying there a couple of hours, we proceeded on 
our journey, and, as we advanced into the interior of the 
province, matters grew worse and worse ; the jolting of 
our carriage increased, as the absence of all care in the 
maintenance of the road became more and more ap- 
parent ; we rattled over stones a foot in diameter, lying 
loose in deep sand ; and we plunged into holes like a 
ship in a heavy sea, rising and falling, pitching and 
tossing from side to side, with a degree of violence that 
foreboded an upset at last, which, however, we were 
fortunate enough to escape. When we had a hdl to 
climb, our coachman would alight and disappear alto- 
gether, allowing his horses to drag us up it as they 
liked ; while I was more than once obliged to jump out 
and prevent their rolhng us into a ditch, or stop them 
until he overtook us ; and when we passed a stream, 
he would pull up, and, unfastening the traces and pole- 
straps, drive them into the water to drink, leaving us in 
the middle of the road, to be knocked against by every 
waggon that passed ; but we sufiered no accident, and 
our only trial was that of our temper. 

In the centre of a fine plain almost totally uncul- 
tivated, across which the river Glina flowed, we found 
the town of the same name, which is the head- quarters 



of tlie 1st Banal Regiment of the Military Frontiers, 
and has a population of nearly 2,000 inhabitants. The 
unpaved streets were exceedingly broad ; they were 
straight, and at right angles to each other ; but the rows 
of wooden huts arrano;ed on either side of them ill corre- 
sponded to the plan of the town. The only buildings of 
any solidity were two churches, — one Greek, not United, 
the other Roman Catholic, — and three or four large and 
good houses belonging to the Staff of the regiment. No 
one was to be seen stirring, and the aspect of the whole 
place presented an apt image of the state of the country 
— dull, depressed, and prostrate under absolute mihtary 
rule. We saw a drummer publishing a proclamation in 
the principal square ; his audience was composed of two 
boys and a little girl, who were apparently in much 
greater admiration of the drum than of the document. 

Three miles to the south-west of the town lies the 
village of Topuszko, in the romantic valley of the Glina. 
The mineral waters of this lovely spot are commencing 
to attract the attention of invalids ; they contain iron in 
a considerable proportion, their temperature is from 40'' 
to 48*^ of Reaumur, and the chief spring yields two 
hundred gallons per hour. In cases of rheumatism, 
debility, and induration, they are said to be most bene- 
ficial. An interesting ruin is to be seen in the neigh- 
bourhood, which is supposed to be the remains of a 
church, dating from the fourteenth century ; the style of 
architecture is what is called the Alt JDeutsch, or Old 
German, and a beautiful doorway of this description is 
still in a state of good preservation. 

We continued to travel through a country of the 


greatest fertility, rich in alluvial soil, with an abundance 
of water ; but a spirit of indolence seemed to pervade 
the habits of the people, either arising from the hope- 
lessness inspired by the conduct of the government, or 
from the usual tendency of the prodigality of nature to 
produce idleness, as barren land stimulates the energies 
of its cultivators. On passing the summit of a wooded 
hill, a splendid view of the vale of the Kulpa suddenly 
broke upon us. The sun w^as setting gloriously, and 
the bright purple tints of the airy clouds, some with a 
vivid fringe like molten gold, and others fading softly to 
a pale rose colour, were faithfully reflected on the glassy 
surface of the river : a lovely islet, thick-set with trees 
and shrubs, divided its widened breadth, as it swept 
round the foot of the hill, and, altering its course, glided 
along towards the plain, on which the towns of Petrinia 
and Sziszek might be distinguished in the distance ; and 
a number of floating mills were anchored in a line where 
its current was strongest, with their broad wheels revolv- 
ing slowly by the force of the stream, and their light 
boats, scooped out of the trunks of trees, moored beside 
them to convey their inmates to the shore. 

As we descended into the valley, we passed numerous 
herds of cattle grazing, and, above all, the most intermi- 
nable flocks of geese, with little children tending them ; 
and on reaching the plain, we were agreeably surprised 
to perceive a good deal of cultivation. The existence 
of this unusual feature in Croatian scenery was soon 
explained to us, by our learning that certain ancient 
privileges were enjoyed by the inhabitants of the dis- 
trict, which is called the Campus Turopolia, with that 


admixture of Latin so frequently used in Hungary ; an( 
the twenty-four communities, which occupy it, are exclu- 
sively composed of united freemen, having their elective 
Landgraves and independent local jurisdiction. 

Petrinia, which is situated at the confluence of the 
river of the same name with the Kulpa, is the seat of 
the Staff of the 2d Banal Regiment of the Military 
Frontiers. It has a population of about 5,000 ; the 
town is well built, with spacious streets and squares, 
most of them being agreeably planted with mulberry 
trees ; and some of the churches are handsome, especially 
that of St. Lawrence, occupying the centre of a large 
open market-place. We saw the remains of a castle, 
possibly the same which was raised here by Hassan 
Pasha of Bosnia, in the year 1590, as a rallying point 
for his invasion of Croatia; but there was nothing in 
their appearance to interest us, or to illustrate their 
history, as the ruins were fast crumbling into dust. Most 
of the houses and shops had ponderous iron doors and 
window-shutters, which spoke volumes on the existing 
state of society in this province of the Austrian Empire. 

Only a few miles separated us from the town of 
Sziszek, which we reached at a late hour in the evening. 
We drove to the best inn, and it seemed to be almost 
entitled to the honour of being styled an hotel, so 
extensive was the court-yard, and so intricate the long 
passages with numbered doors on either side. This was 
something new to us since we had been traveUing in 
Croatia ; but we were not destined to enjoy the comforts 
of a civilized asylum for wayfarers, as the host announced 
to us that his house was full, in consequence of the 


arrival of the steamer. A crowded hotel and a steamer 
at Sziszek, in the heart of the MiUtary Frontiers ! We 
thought he was making game of us. It was true 
enough, however; not a room was to be had, and the 
black funnel of a steam-boat was distinctly discernible 
by the moonlight on the waters of the Kulpa, which 
rippled past the door. This was still more new to us, 
and we were fain to put up with a garret over a wine- 
shop, where the sonorous music of midnight revellers 
banished from our hard pillows that sweet oblivion which 
fatigue invited ; but we consoled ourselves in our tem- 
porary misfortunes with the cheering prospect of steaming 
it down the river. Having despaired of obtaining any 
sleep, I got up when the day was about to dawn, and 
went to see the place. 

The town is bisected by the Kulpa, on the left bank 
of which lies Alt Sziszek, the opposite portion being 
called New Sziszek, from having been built more 
recently : they are also distinguished as the military and 
civil towns, for this river bounds the territory of the 
Military Frontiers. One half of Sziszek is thus ruled 
by the ordinary municipal authorities, while the other is 
administered by the officers of the battalion belonging 
to the district. The communication between them is 
kept up by means of a floating bridge of boats, moored 
longitudinally in the middle of the river, and swinging 
like a pendulum from side to side, impelled by the 
current, and guided by a couple of men with long poles. 
A noble causeway, built by the Romans, leads to the 
town ; and, indeed, the remains of the ancient city of 
the Sissenses are scattered about in all directions. It 


must have been of great extent, for Roman brick-work 
is discovered wherever a ditch is dug, within a circum- 
ference of several miles, fragments of columns, broken 
sarcophagi, and sculptured blocks, have frequently been 
found ; and one large house has recently been built 
entirely of bricks and tiles which had been extracted 
from ancient vaults. There are not more than two 
•thousand inhabitants in Sziszek, but they are so actively 
engaged in the trade carried on between the interior and 
the lower provinces of Hungary, that it appears to be 
a stirring and thriving place. 

I Avalked a couple of miles to see an old castle, 
belonging to the Doms Capitel of Agram, w^hich was 
gallantly defended in 1592, against Hassan Pasha of 
Bosnia, by two members of the Chapter of that cathedral. 
It is not picturesque, being merely a large triangular 
building, with three huge round towers at the corners; 
but a Gipsy camp under the trees in front of the prin- 
cipal gate, gave it a borrowed interest, which detained 
me some time vainly endeavouring to enter into conver- 
sation with the wanderers. When obhged to give up 
the attempt in despair, I directed ray steps along the 
bank of the river ; occasionally overtaking as I went the 
heavy barges laden with fifty or sixty butts of wheat, 
which at least twenty small horses were dragging 
against the stream, accompanied by nearly as many 
fierce Croats, cracking their long whips, and often 
.overtaken in my turn by the wicker carts on the road, 
which were pulled by four horses or mares abreast, with 
skittish foals galloping beside their dams. I thus reached 
, the town, where I got our passport countersigned by 


the Captain of a company of the Petrinia frontier 
Corps, as we were in New or Military Sziszek ; and, 
after staring in astonishment at the ragged sentry before 
his door, who was coolly reclining on the ground fast 
asleep, with his arms shouldered, I went to take our 
places in the steamer. Another wretched night, and we 

One of the passengers, with whom we soon became 
intimately acquainted, as he lost no time in telling us his 
history and private affairs, was an officer of a Frontier 
Regiment, whose wife had died a few days previously, 
leaving him three young children, and who was on his 
way to beg his mother-in-law to take charge of them. It 
was very sad ; but all our overtures of sympathy and 
condolence were indifferently received, and we found 
that his sensibilities were more easily excited on the 
subject of his country's wrongs, than on that of his 
domestic afflictions ; for he was a Magyar, and he spoke 
freely and most feelingly on the Plungarian cause. He 
said that the oppressive sway of the foreign usurpers 
would evidently be overthrown, and that the hopes of 
his countrymen were centred on England, for she would 
at last be convinced that the Hun2:arians are deservins: 
of active assistance. 

" What assistance can you expect from England ? " I 

" An intervention in our favour ; " replied he. 

" And do you think that a foreign country can 
easily interfere between a legitimate sovereign and his 
subjects ? " 

" You interfered between the Greeks and the Turks, 


Without tlie battle of Navarino, Greece would never 
have been free. Why should Hungary not inspire the 
same sympathy ? " 

" You did inspire sympathy, and a strong feeling in 
your favour was very general in England during your 
late struggle with Austria." 

" You would be very inconsistent if you were indif- 
ferent to our fate and to our cause, and we only desire 
what you possess and glory in. Institutions similar to 
those of England are all we ask, and, please God, we 
shall obtain them before we are much older." 

After this conversation, which I took the first oppor- 
tunity of noting down, as far as I could recollect it, on 
account of its being a plain statement of the prevalent 
feeling of the Magyars, my fellow-passenger informed me 
that he had not taken an active part in the late war, 
because he had been serving in the Austrian Navy, and 
that he had subsequently been transferred to a Frontier 
regiment, in pursuance of the system adopted, by which 
his countrymen were removed from all posts where 
they could serve with any degree of efficiency; thus, 
he having been brought up as a sailor, was required to 
drill the Croatian peasants, and administer their civil 
affairs. All this he said with a sort of liveliness which 
astonished us, when we reflected that he was a widower 
of a few days' date, and our conclusions were far from 
being advantageous to the memory of the lost help-mate. 

The Hungarian reminded me of the Irishman who was 
asked what he wished to have inscribed on the tomb- 
stone of his wife after her name and age, and who replied 
that the monosyllable " snug " should be engraved upon 


it, as the expression of his feelings in consigning her to 
the grave. 

There was a lady on board who seemed to wear 
mourning in her heart more sincere than the band 
of crape round the Magyar's cap; she was the very 
image of silent and hopeless grief, and her unobtrusive 
sorrow excited universal interest among the passengers ; 
but she spoke to no one. Many were the conjectures as 
to the cause of so much mental anguish, but it was not 
until we reached Semlin that we learnt the truth. On 
our arrival there, she left the steamer before daylight 
with her maid, and it was remarked that she was then 
for the first time dressed in the deepest mourning. 
Several hours later we were walking in the town, and we 
met her with an elderly priest. When we returned to 
the inn we found that she was also there ; but she never 
left her room. I heard, however, from a person who 
was acquainted with her, that she had come from Agram 
to Semlin, a journey of four days, to visit the grave of 
her only son, a cavalry officer, on the anniversary of his 
death. In such mourning there can be no mistake. 

We soon steamed from Sziszek to the point where the 
Kulpa loses itself in the river Save ; and we followed 
the course of the latter for some time between low 
wooded banks, rising gradually till they joined the range 
of hills, which bounded the view on either side. 

We passed several villages of log-huts, which, although 
apparently populous, were not provided with any visible 
places of worship. Their floating mills were moored in 
front of them, and now for the first time I had an op- 
portunity of observing the construction of these primitive 


contrivances for converting wheat into flour. Two hollow 
trunks of very large trees, with their ends closed, sup- 
ported the wooden building which contained the mill- 
stones, while the axle of the broad wheel rested on another 
boat of similar formation ; the force of the current, which 
flowed between them, setting the machinery in motion. 
They were w^orking quick and well, which was probably 
owing to the rapidity of the stream having been in- 
creased by rain, a dull muddiness having been added, at 
the same time, to its colour. 

Large rivers, however, rarely possess the limpid trans- 
parency of the clear blue sea, and on that account the 
scenery on their banks, beautiful as it may be in itself, 
loses one of the principal charms that imagination 
pictures before seeing it ; disappointment is thus almost 
always felt in river excursions. 

But the Save, though dull and muddy in appearance, 
had presented itself under unusually favourable circum- 
stances ; we were heartily tired of land-travelling, and a 
steamer was a great relief; for we glided along without 
fatigue or inconvenience at the rate of fourteen miles an 
hour, as the vessel steamed eleven knots through the 
water and the current ran three at least ; while exhausted 
nature was opportunely restored by breakfast, lunch, or 
dinner, at any hour we chose to call for it ; instead of 
waiting hungry and impatient until w^e reached an 
expected town, or other halting-place. 

The Save, moreover, was far from being devoid of 
picturesque attractions. Its breadth, where we now 
were, hardly exceeded 100 yards, and its course was so 
tortuous, ' that a new landscape was unfolded before us 



at every turn — and we were always turning. We liad thus 
a continual stimulus to our curiosity, as we never knew 
what fresh view might appear at any moment. Sometimes 
on either side extended vast uncultivated plains, while 
occasional herds of hght-coloured and long-horned cattle, 
or of small and bony mares with their frisky foals, were 
scattered over them ; at other times, the narrowed stream 
would rush rapidly between two high and rocky shores, 
or steep wooded banks, wild and desert ; and soon after- 
wards it would again widen out with diminished speed, 
and flow calmly past green hillocks shelving gradually 
down to the water's edge, where women clustered wash- 
ing clothes among lofty trees, whose roots were partly 
exposed by the undermining current. As the waves 
raised by our paddles reached those dusky Nereids, who 
seemed not to anticipate this effect of our locomotive 
powers, they would scream with affright when they were 
splashed, and take to flight, running to the very top of 
the bank, and standing on the defensive, as if they ap- 
prehended being overtaken even there. Frequently one 
side of the river was deep and rapid, with a broken and 
precipitous shore, whilst the other was perfectly calm as 
it eddied sluggishly round a low promontory ; for the 
abruptness of the sinuosities often threw the force of the 
stream against one of the banks, and, its action being thus 
directed, the soil was being gradually washed away and 
carried down the stream. We thus proceeded, moving 
from gunwale to gunwale, and from stem to stern of the 
vessel as the view changed, expatiating on its beauties, 
and congratulating ourselves on the extension of steam 


Towards noon we entered a dense forest of fine old 
timber coming close to the banks of the river. Several 
noble eagles rose, and, soaring above us, effected their 
retreat with fearless and proud disdain at our approach. 
Wild cattle gazed in stupid astonishment as we passed ; 
and then, lowing and snorting, galloped heavily, with 
tails erect, to the innermost recesses of the wood. Not 
a human being was seen for many miles, and no vestige 
of habitations was visible anywhere. On emerging from 
this scene of solitude and grandeur, we came to the 
town of Jassenow^acz. Here the Save formed the 
boundary between the Austrian and Turkish Empires ; 
on either side were a considerable number of wooden 
houses, built on piles in consequence of the frequent 
inundations, those on the left bank being, if possible, 
more miserable in appearance than the wretched dwell- 
ings opposite ; and a bridge, like that at Sziszek, was 
swinging lazily with its cargo of Ottoman subjects on 
their way to visit those of the Kaiser. We observed on 
the stocks some of the monarchs of the forest, which we 
had just left, in process of being converted into river 
boats ; they w^ere as long as frigates, and their form was 
but ill adapted either for facility of towing or capacity 
of stowdng, as it w^as that of an oblong rectangle^ raised 
so much at both ends that they could be well laden only 
in the centre, and the great resistance of the broad stem 
must materially impede their progress against the stream. 

The amount of population in the Austrian town, w^hich 
is enrolled in the Gradiskaner Frontier Regiment, is 
upwards of two thousand, and the great majority of the 
inhabitants belong to the Greek Church, not United. 


The river Uniia, which here joins the Save, divides 
Croatia from the ancient kingdom of Sclavonia, and, as 
Bosnia stretches to the latter river on the other side, we 
now bade adieu to the Croats, and continued our course 
with an Empire on either hand. 

On leaving Jassenowacz we again found ourselves 
floating swiftly through a noble forest of oaks, which, 
as I was told, abounds in game of different kinds, from 
hares and wild ducks to boars and roe-deer, and wolves 
are frequently seen in troops by those who venture far 
into it. The Bosnians seemed to turn the wood to 
better account than the Sclavonians, for piles of timber 
and firewood were ranged along the right bank of the 
river ready for embarkation : and perhaps this was 
owing to the greater privileges afforded by the Turkish 
government, for I learnt that the felUng of trees was 
permitted on the same conditions as the cultivation of 
the Crown-lands, and they consist merely in the payment 
of a tithe of the produce. 

The military stations on the Sclavonian shore, which 
form the cordon, were about two hundred paces distant 
from each other. They are wooden buildings, fifteen or 
twenty feet square, raised on upright trunks of trees to 
a height of six feet from the ground, in order to keep 
them dry when the river overflows its banks ; and they 
are surrounded by a sort of covered veranda, in which 
the soldiers of the guard, composed of a corporal's party 
of from five to ten men, were generally lounging. Each 
post is provided with a large bell, by means of which it 
is calculated that the alarm can be spread along the 
whole southern frontier of the Empire in the space of four 


hours. The alarm would not do them much good, how- 
ever, as there are few forts or defensible points on the 
line, if it should ever be attacked ; and, like other rivers, 
the Save forms but a weak boundary, as it could easily be 
crossed by aggressors, social, fiscal, or pohtical, if any such 
there be, without leaving any traces of their movements. 
Indeed, not only as a protection against the plague, or 
against national invasion, which are the ostensible objects 
of the establishment, but also as tending to check the 
imaginary marauding expeditions of small parties, which 
are alleged to have passed the river in search of plunder, 
as well as the smuggling enterprises of Jew pedlars, which 
may be true enough, the long range of lofty mountains, 
running parallel to the Save at a httle distance towards 
the north, would have been a much more efficient frontier, 
while the war against Hassan Pasha of Bosnia might 
have been avoided, by taking up these stronger lines. 
The Turks, however, seem now to be utterly indifferent 
on this subject, and they probably laugh in their sleeves 
at the great burden they entail on their neighbours for 
the maintenance of the cordon^ without making the 
slightest attempt at reciprocity. We frequently saw them 
dragging their boats against the stream, on the Austrian 
bank of the Save, while one of the soldiers of the Frontier 
guard invariably accompanied them from station to station 
with his firelock and fixed bayonet over his shoulder. On 
the Bosnian shore, any one was free to land who might 
be desirous of doing so, without the smallest impediment. 
We came to the end of the magnificent forest at last, 
and soon afterwards reached the Sclavonian town and 
fortress of Alt Gradiska. Its population exceeds 3,000, 


and an active trade is carried on with the Bosnian town 
of Berbir, on the other side of the river, although it has 
hitherto been obstructed by the unnecessary observance 
of the quarantine regulations. We had now so com- 
pletely escaped from the accustomed haunts of British 
tourists, who gape and stare at everything, sketch-book 
and traveller's guide in hand, that we had become quite 
an object of curiosity to the other passengers ; a modest 
and retiring incognito is impossible in a region of pass- 
ports ; our nationality was soon known ; and we often 
heard the question asked, " Where are the English 
people ? They should look at this." 

But at Gradiska, the interest I took in the fortifica- 
tions, which were in excellent order, seemed to excite 
astonishment ; and one grave gentleman of Sclavonia ex- 
pressed surprise that I should think them worthy of 
attention, considering that the towns of England must be 
so much better fortified. Such is the amount of their 
information with regard to the actual state of Great 
Britain ; and I fear that not much more is known in 
England about the real condition of this part of Austria. 
Here, for instance, are a people, undeniably robust, active 
and brave, who are forcibly kept in nearly constant 
service without any remuneration ; and a country pro- 
verbially fertile, which is almost totally uncultivated ; and 
I, for one, certainly never knew that before. The soil 
belongs to the State, in the Mihtary Frontiers ; a peasant 
who builds a cottage, is not allowed to sell it, if he should 
wish to remove elsewhere ; no foreigner is permitted to 
settle, excepting in the towns and for the purpose of 
trading, in which case alone an exemption is granted 

VOL. I. H 



from the military duties that every other inhabitant of 
these territories is obhged to perform during the best 
years of his hfe ; and what is worst of all, young men, 
who may display talent in a special calling, and may wish 
to improve it by education of any kind, are prohibited 
from seeking instruction. Travellers, who think a resi- 
dence of a few weeks at Vienna has given them a thorough 
insight into the character of the Austrian empire, would 
be as completely undeceived on visiting some of its pro- 
vinces, as I was by the contrast presented by the condition 
of the Military Frontiers to that of the capital, where I 
had been a year previously. 

The town of Gradiska was in appearance cleanly 
and prosperous, though small. There were a couple 
of neat churches, and several excellent houses. Bales 
of cotton were disembarked from the steamer to be 
spun, which attested the existence of industry; and 
some of the passengers left us, while others joined 
our party, indicating thus, that there was a certain de- 
gree of movement and activity about the place. The 
Turkish town on the opposite shore was all the contrary. 
The plain buildings and narrow streets were in a state 
of absolute repose. But the stately Mussulman might be 
seen on the shore, gazing with calm contempt at the self- 
important German officers bustling about, as the time- 
w^orn minarets looked grave and grey in comparison with 
the glittering steeples encased in sheets of tin : on the. 
Austrian side, the forms and outward show of advanced 
civilization, with misery and degradation within ; on the 
Turkish, little ostentation, but a solid and substantial 
foundation for enlightened welfare laid by the introduction 


of liberal institutions, while material benefits are abun- 
dantly bestowed on the population. 

On one side of the ramparts of the fortress lies the 
tomb of a Mahometan prophet, who predicted, when 
dying here, that the Ottoman dominions would never 
extend beyond this spot, notwithstanding that their 
career of conquest was then in its zenith. A mausoleum 
has been erected over his remains, and pilgrims from the 
south and east come continually to honour them. 

When we resumed our course, it led us through 
a beautiful country, richly clothed with lofty timber, and 
rising gradually as it stretched back to the double chain 
of hills, whose picturesque outlines formed the distance 
of the lovely landscape. Bears, as I was informed by 
a native on board the steamer, infest those mountains ; 
and in the winter they come down to the banks of the 
river, where they prowl about under cover of the wood, 
and often cross the Save when it is frozen over. Great 
numbers of trees had recently been burned on the 
Austrian side, and their blackened trunks still rose erect 
to the height of sixty or seventy feet, waiting, like the 
empire on which they stood, for a storm to overthrow 
them. The river became now much wider, and the 
mihtary posts were consequently less near each other, as 
the supposed danger was diminished. 

Nothing could be more enchanting than the banks of 
the Save w^hen the forest occasionally receded, leaving 
a natural meadow studded with single trees, and broken 
by the course of the numerous streams which brought 
their liquid ofiering to the great river from the bright 
green hills, that formed so fair a feature in the scene, 



standing out in bold relief from the dark wooded 
mountains in the background. There was no cultivation 
of any kind to be seen, but herds and flocks were every- 
where browsing on the rich pastures ; and the uncouth 
figures of their guardians, of both sexes and all ages, — the 
men, with their shaggy capotes hanging from one shoulder, 
and their long guns slung on their backs ; the women 
and half clad children crouching behind them, added 
a wildness to the character of the picture, which, with 
the glorious setting of the sun, represented a prototype 
of Salvator Rosa's most glowing style. But beyond the 
artistic beauties of the composition, there was no 
pleasing impression produced by it; for it reminded one 
of that primitive state of society, lauded by Jean Jaques 
Rousseau and the imitators of his false philosophy, as 
being the natural condition of mankind, and substituted 
in their Utopian systems for the tranquillit)^ of personal 
security and the profitable occupation of the soil. If 
those vain dreamers could but have seen their schemes 
realized as they are here, — for their ideas of the abolition 
of property, and patriotic service without remuneration, 
are virtually carried out in the Military Frontiers as far 
as the peasant is concerned, — they would have lowered 
their tone ; and if they could but have witnessed the 
results of these theories as here produced, — for every one 
is armed to protect his rags from the covetousness of the 
still more naked, while vast sources of riches and 
prosperity lie unimproved beneath the feet of all, — they 
must needs admit that their visionary commonwealth 
would be little better than the existence of the sole 
proprietor, who here plays the part of an Imperial dog 


in the manger. And yet, in spite of the respective 
oppression and misery of the master and his slaves, the 
country still was beautiful ; perhaps more so on that very 
accoimt ; for, although not unlike the scenery of the 
Clyde, the absence of all agricultural industry gave 
it a charm, which would be sought for in vain in 
those more happy climes. It was just such a picture 
of wandering and patriarchal life as one could fancy 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to have surveyed, as they 
rested in the evening with their flocks gathering around 
them, or when they left their tents with the rising sun, 
to reconnoitre the condition of their pastoral substance 
after the dangers of the night. 

When we glanced at Bosnia, these general character- 
istics of all the Sclavonian provinces, which we had as 
yet seen, became evidently modified ; the villages were 
less rare, more smiling and prosperous; the houses were 
almost all plastered, and they were roofed with tiles 
instead of thin planks ; and, above all, the places of 
worship, both Christian and Mahomedan, were more 
numerous. Gardens appeared around the cottages, and 
tillage extended to a considerable distance from them. 
The contrast with Sclavonia was most remarkable, as all 
was still, wild, desolate, and inert, on the left bank of 
the river ; although, notw^ithstanding their political dis- 
advantages, the Sclavonians, who are cited in this part of 
the world for their honesty and pacific disposition, had 
contrived to give an appearance of well-being to their 
towns and larger villages, which was sadly at variance 
with the hardships they endure, and which was alto- 
gether wanting in Croatia. A Bosnian Aga was riding 



slowly along the shore on his ambling palfrey, with his 
white turban binding his shaven brows, a long pipe in 
his mouth, and a red shawl round his waist, looking far 
more Turkish than the Turks of Constantinople, where, 
in the higher ranks of society, the Oriental costume no 
longer exists in all its picturesque perfection. After 
watching him for some little time, I happened to turn 
round, and I saw a wicker-waggon drawn at a gallop by 
four swift Hungarian horses, on the other bank of the 
river, and in the opposite direction ; an Austrian officer 
was sitting in it, with embroidered jacket and natty 
forage-cap. "They were an apt type of the contrast 
between those provinces under such different govern- 
ments, and separated only by this narrow river." 

BROD. 103 



Our anchor was up at an early hour in the morning, 
and I was on deck as soon as the steamer was under 
way. The Save was rapidly becoming broader and 
broader, as several considerable streams successively 
swelled its waters ; and the country on either side was 
now more flat, though still richly wooded. We passed 
a large island covered with trees, and apparently a 
favourite resort of water-fowl, great flights of them 
having left it when we approached. Mills were moored 
opposite almost every village — there was more cultiva- 
tion — the country appeared to be better peopled, and, on 
the whole, it was more flourishing than western Sclavonia 
and Croatia. The first town we reached was Brod. 

On approaching this place, we passed near another 
island, which had served in the Turkish war as an out- 
post and point of observation for the Bosnian fortress 
opposite ; but now, the trees having grown to a great 
height, and the remains of its defences being altogether 
untenable, its military career is closed, and it fulfils the 
peaceful mission of adding an attractive object to the 
general view of the town, which is prettily situated. 



A modern and more efficient stronghold has been built by 
the Austrians in the neighbourhood, with curtains and 
bastions, scarps and counterscarps, glacis, ravelins, and 
covered ways j but, unfortunately for them, all the science 
of Vauban himself would be of little avail in such a posi- 
tion if it were skilfully attacked, for a less defensible one 
can hardly be imagined, as it is commanded by heights 
on all sides. We went to a public promenade, which was 
tastefully planted, occupying the whole space between 
the town and the fort, and thence we walked through 
several good streets, with handsome buildings on each 
side, the most remarkable of which were a fine looking 
church and an extensive Pranciscan convent. There 
were two other good churches, one of them being Greek 
not United, as most of the inhabitants belong to that 
persuasion ; and the other, Roman Catholic, for the 
accommodation of the Austrian garrison ; while the 
first we had seen was also of that branch of the Chris- 
tian Church, having been recently built by the govern- 
ment with the view of enticing the Sclavonians to become 
members of it. 

The population of the town is 2,500, and their principal 
resource is a weekly market, at which live stock, hides, 
and wool, are exchanged with the inhabitants of the pro- 
vince opposite for iron, copper, tobacco, and brandy. The 
Sclavonians are a people of a totally different aspect from 
the Croatians, and their character is reputed in every re- 
spect superior ; for the Croats are lazy, intemperate, and 
lawless, while the Sclavonians are industrious, sober, and 
orderly. The little Hungarian officerwas loud and eloquent 
in praise of Brod and the Brodians; and he knew them 

OP BROD. 105 

well, as he had been quartered there before his marriage, 
to take charge of a couple of gun-boats ; and he congra- 
tulated himself on the prospect of soon returning to that 
station, by being appointed to the frontier corps of the 
district. According to his description, neither Naples nor 
Constantinople, those two boasted beauties of Europe, 
could be compared to Brod ; but perhaps the reminis- 
ences of happy celibacy returned in consoled widow- 
hood to throw a bright halo around the scenes in which 
his golden age had been passed ; and, leaving his defunct 
better-half to sleep in peace in Abraham's bosom, memory 
carried him back a stage in life, while hope lured him on 
to live again a bachelor at Brod. 

Soon after leaving that town the banks of the Save 
became more beautiful than ever. Now the river 
approached the hills, and wound close round a thickly 
wooded promontory, which rose high above its waters ; 
and now it would shoot forward again among the green 
meadows, which receded in gradual slopes until the 
heights appeared on the horizon as a distant shore at 
sea. These changes were so numerous and rapid that 
we were kept for some time in a state of constant alert, 
to see what view would be offered to us next, as we sat 
on deck under an awning to watch the shifting of the 
scenes in this magnificent diorama. Amongst the 
passengers collected to admire it, I remarked one who 
had come on board at Brod. He was a tall man, with 
long fair hair, which I perceived was not shaven on the 
temples, although he wore an Oriental dress ; I therefore 
concluded that he was not a Turk, but a Greek from 
Asia Minor, where Christians are often attired like 


Osmanlis; and I asked him in the Romaic dialect if 
such were the case. He replied by a movement of 
offended dignity at the mere supposition that he be- 
longed to the Greek race; and he intimated in a few- 
broken words that he could not even speak their 
language. I learnt, on inquiring, that he was a Ser- 
bian, and it appears from what I was then told that the 
Sclavonian nations entertain as great a dislike to the 
Greeks as the Turks do. A short time afterwards we 
passed the village of Stitar, lying in the centre of a vast 
plain of fine alluvial soil, with a good deal of wood 
scattered over it, and herds of splendid cattle grazing 
in all directions. I remarked to the communicative 
Officer of the Frontier Regiment, that a people inhabiting 
so fertile a country must indeed be ill-governed if they 
do not enjoy such rare advantages. 

" We are the slaves of the Germans," he replied ; 
" the slaves of a nation inferior to us in numbers, in 
civic talent, and in military valour." 

" You talk of the Hungarians," I said ; " but the 
Sclavonians are not similarly situated." 

" The Sclavonians," he rejoined, " form a part of the 
great Sclavonic race, which is oppressed by Austria as 
much as the Magyars are, and in this respect we are all 
in the same condition. There are Sclavonians also in 
Hungary, and our cause is identical. But besides this, 
Sclavonia was a province of the kingdom of Hungary, as . 
Croatia and Transylvania were. We had also both 
Bosnia and Serbia, before the Turks, under the great 
Sultan Murad, pushed their frontiers to the Danube and 
the Save about four centuries ago. These two provinces 


are comparatively happy under the Sultan ; and they 
have every prospect of advancing rapidly in the career of 
improvement and prosperity, both political and material ; 
but the yoke has again been placed on our necks through 
the overwhelming assistance of the false Sclavonians of 
Russia, without which the Germans could never have 
reduced us to this state. They will not keep us long 
under the lash, however, and we shall still be free — 
England will help us in the end. If the truth were 
known, your journey in this part of the world would, I 
am sure, give us a new proof of that fact. But you are 
too prudent — you will not tell me your mission — I can 
guess it, however. English travellers do not come to 
Croatia and Sclavonia in search of amusement." 

This was an officer in the Austrian service, and as 
I had no inclination to run further risk of meeting with 
obstacles to my journey, I thought it was full time for 
me to change the subject of conversation. My adventure 
at Carlowacz, where I was told the same thing of 
Hungary, and was honoured by a personal interview 
with the Director of Police in consequence, had taught 
me to avoid all causes that could produce such unplea- 
sant effects; and, being docile under experience, the 
stuUorum iste magister^ I asked the Austrian officer what 
he thought of the weather, after I had denied that I had 
any mission whatsoever. The town of Xupanje then 
came to my assistance and afforded a new theme, oppor- 
tune and instructive. He told me that it had about four 
thousand inhabitants, and that it was a most thriving 
place. Everything is relative in this world, and, were 
Xupanje anywhere else, it would be called a miserable 



assemblage of beggars' huts : but in the Military Fron- 
tiers it was a very model, forsooth, of social and indus- 
trial welfare. Again the Save entered an extensive forest 
of oaks, covering the plain to the very brink of the river 
on either side ; and we continued to traverse it for several 
hours, with occasional intervals of open country sur- 
rounded by wood. What a treasure these forests would 
be to a maritime nation ! With such a river, too, for 
the conveyance of timber to a sea-port ! All the navies 
of Europe might have been built from them without a 
tree being missed. 

The Bosnian town of Bresevopolie lies on the Save, 
a short way below the great forest. It is exceedingly 
picturesque. There is a large and handsome house near 
it, belonging to a Bosnian landed proprietor, and 
entirely built in the European style, with the exception 
of an oriental kiosk or belvedere on the roof. A con- 
siderable extent of meadow land forms an English-looking 
lawn around it, with trees beautifully grouped, and vine- 
yards neatly kept on the heights behind the house and 
garden. The existence of a villa was not a bad symptom 
of the state of Bosnia; alone and unprotected, sub- 
stantial and comfortable, costly and tasteful, such a 
residence spoke volumes in favour of the landed interests, 
as would be said in parliamentary jargon, if Bosnia had 
a parliament ; which she probably will have sooner than 
Sclavonia or Croatia. In the town the houses are mostly 
wooden ; the streets are irregular, but they are embel- 
lished by a multitude of trees; there is a Turkish 
minaret surrounded by Christian churches, indicative of 
religious tolerance ; and at the mouth of a tributary 


stream, which flows through the place with a wooden 
bridge over it, a great number of river-boats were 
anchored, denoting commercial enterprise. 

After leaving this flourishing little community we 
entered a region of hill and dale, clifi's and ravines, woods 
and waterfalls, which resembled a miniature Switzer- 
land or Killarney, with the lakes united in one broad 
river. Our admiration had reached the acme of enthu- 
siasm, and we were just lamenting the rapidity of our 
course, which hardly gave us time to enjoy the different 
views, when the hoarse tones of a loud voice issued from 
the nethermost depths of the Tartaric engine-room, and 
that loud hoarse voice seemed to respond to our com- 
plainings in our own language, for the magic words were, 
" Stop her ! " A screw was loose, and we cast anchor, 
when the order " Tondo ! " responded along the deck. 

Poor Austria could not launch a steamer on the Save 
without paying a Scotchman from Greenock to take 
charge of her engines, and an Italian from Venice to 
command her. 

We lay there for five long hours, and we were glad 
enough to resume our way when the " canny Scot " had 
tightened his screw, for we were beginning to get tired 
of our steamer, especially during the nights, as there 
were no beds on board. We soon reached the mouth of 
the river Drina, which separates Bosnia from Serbia, and 
flows into the Save opposite the fort of Racsa. This 
Austrian stronghold played a prominent part in the wars 
with the Turks, whose descent by the Drina to the Save 
was commanded by it. But the ramparts are much 
exposed to damage when the tributary river is swollen by 


heavy rains, as it rushes against them with a degree of 
violence which no mason-work can stand. 

A series of shifting mud-banks have thus been formed 
in the bed of the Save, rendering its navigation here 
both difficult and dangerous : were they stationary they 
would soon become islands, easily avoided ; but as every 
winter creates new shallows, the steamer is obliged to 
steer her course among them with the greatest caution, 
at half speed, sounding the depths, occasionally backing 
her paddles, and swerving to the right or left by the aid 
of long poles, as she floats slowly down Avith the current. 

The town of Kacsa is about a mile distant from the 
fortress, and is separated from it by a low marshy plain. 
It is apparently a small place, and its principal resources 
are the cultivation of mulberry-trees, the rearing of silk- 
worms, and the winding of raw silk from the cocoons. 

After Racsa came Mitrowitz, a considerably town of 
Sclavonia. Its large and handsome churches, whose 
steeples, covered with plates of tin, glittered hke mirrors 
in the sunshine, and several rows of poplar-trees forming 
a pretty walk, with a military band playing for the 
entertainment of the rank and fashion of Mitrowitz, gave 
a joyous appearance to the place ; while the Sclavonian 
national flag, tri-coloured in the same manner as that of 
Holland, which was flying at the landing-place, added a 
gay and flaunting air to the whole. 

Our cargo of merchandize was here augmented by a 
huge pack of perfumery on the brawny Herculean 
shoulders of a Tyrolese pedlar, who came on board with 
a proud air of independence, that well became the bold 
and indefatigable young mountaineer, who, as he told 


me afterwards, had travelled over the Danubian provinces, 
and a great part of Russia on foot, to sell his wares. 
He was accompanied by his wife in her black velvet 
boddice, and with her man's hat, who did a little busi- 
ness on her own account by cutting silhouettes for sale. 

They were a remarkable couple ; both handsome, 
exceedingly tall, with regular features, blue eyes, and 
fair hair : he carried his Dresden china-pipe in his 
mouth, with the portrait of the Kaiser, so dear to his 
Tyrolean heart, painted on it ; and she wore the Germanic 
cockade. They were thus secure on both sides, for one 
of these emblems must serve as a passport either to the 
absolute or the democratical party. Though evidently 
foot-sore, having walked far that day, they separated as 
soon as they embarked, and each went round the deck 
and cabin to solicit the custom of the passengers, before 
they sought their rest. After some small transactions 
they retired to the bows of the steamer, and sitting down 
side by side, they enjoyed their frugal meal of bread and 
cheese, and when it was concluded they carefully replaced 
the residue in their wallet, which had been slung over the 
woman's shoulder ; they drank wine from the same bottle 
w^ithout the aid of a glass ; the wife filled the husband's 
pipe while he was striking a light ; and then they sat 
talking and laughing together, having apparently for- 
gotten the existence of any one else but themselves in 
the world. 

There was a sort of Adam and Eve air about them as 
they were thus seated on the windlass — so comely, so 
like each other, and so unsophisticated ; some of the 
passengers gradually collected around them, in-esistibly 



attracted, as it were, by the spectacle, so rare now-a-days, 
of guileless gaiety and reciprocal affection. 

The Tyrolese did not seem to heed us for some time, 
but, looking up at last, he took off his conical hat, with 
the flat ostrich-feather stuck in the band, arranged his 
green embroidered braces with a cross belt uniting them 
in front, and said : — 

" Meine Herren, you have kindly purchased a few 
articles of our little stock, — we thank you, and would be 
glad to do anything agreeable to you. Would you wish 
to hear how we sing at Innspruck ? " 

The proposal was joyfully received, and they at once 
commenced an admirable duett, in that singular style 
which is called jodlen, and which consists in rapid 
changes at the greatest intervals from the chest to the 
head voice. When one wild lay was finished, they began 
another ; and thus we passed a delightful evening on the 
Save, listening to the sweet and simple music of the 
Alps, and admiring the gorgeous hues cast over the 
western sky by the setting sun, as they were reflected on 
the calm surface of the lake-like river ; while the heavy 
flight of vast flocks of wild-fowl, speeding from their 
usual fishing ground to their mighty resorts in the fens 
of the forest, passed over our herds in endless succession. 
The Tyrolese declined accepting money for their musical 
treat, and, when we had thanked them, they were soon 
fast asleep on the deck, the heeds of both pillowed on their 
pack, and probably dreaming of their native mountains, 
which they would not see until its contents should be 
disposed of. 

Many of the Tyrolese make these excursions annually ; 


and they are so well known for the honesty of their 
deahngs, the genuineness of their merchandize, and the 
modicity of their prices, that they have become formid- 
able competitors of the sons of Israel. 

The Sclavonian side of the river was now bare and 
flat, tame and uninteresting ; while the glorious forests, 
through which we had been sailing almost the whole 
day, were still continued on the southern and Serbian 
shore. The moon rose, and promised us a lovely night, 
but we did not take advantage of it to pursue our way, 
and we soon cast anchor. 

The next place that attracted our attention, w^hen we 
again glided swiftly down the stream after a comfortless 
night, was Shabacz, a considerable castle in Serbia, with 
a small town of white-plastered houses among the trees. 
Four round towers and a battlemented wall comprised 
the whole defences of the fort, wdiich had evidently not 
been built since the art of fortification was improved by 
the great Prench engineers of the last century ; and had 
rarely, if ever, been repaired ; for it was both ill-planned 
and in a very dilapidated state. The houses near the river 
are inhabited by the Turks resident here, and those in the 
back part of the town are occupied exclusively by the 
Serbian population. A few boats were lying along the 
shore for the purpose of being laden with bricks, which 
are burnt to a great extent on the neighbouring plain 
of hard clay ; and this is the principal industry of the 
place. The inhabitants, however, are fond of emigrating 
on trading expeditions ; and they are so notorious for 
their acuteness, that the Jews are said to be completely 
out-Jewed by them, and always abandon the field where 
these enterprising and skilful dealers appear. 

VOL. 1. 1 



The country on both sides resumed its picturesque 
character; the ground being prettily broken, richly 
wooded, and finely backed by the waving outline of 
lofty mountains, dark with forests, and enHvened here 
and there by occasional intervals of bright green natural 
meadows. The banks were low in the immediate vicinity 
of the river ; so much so, indeed, that they are generally 
under water during at least six months of the year, leav- 
ing, when the river returns to its bed, a number of 
marshes and ponds, which would make glad the heart of 
any sportsman. So abundant are the wild-fowl here, 
that this part of the Save literally teems with them ; and 
so innocent are they of all suspicion with regard to the 
sanguinary delight in slaughter taken by that insatiable 
class of mankind, that they allowed even a steamer to 
come within shot of them. And anglers too, might find 
an ample scope for the development of their Waltonian 
tastes and skill, as trouts of thirty pounds weight are 
plentiful in the Save, not to mention other fish, amongst 
which the most remarkable are sturgeons six feet long. 

In the absence of amateurs of the rod and line, a good 
deal of sport in a small way seemed to be enjoyed by 
cranes and herons, which were flying about and plunging 
their long bills and necks into the water, when they sud- 
denly descended, or stalking gravely along the banks on 
their stilt-like legs, stooping from time to time to pick up 
a stray frog, and looking for all the world like ladies 
holding up their white dresses to cross a puddle. The most 
interesting of these birds was the weisse fsch reithery as 
the Germans call it, which was pointed out to me. It 
is a small white heron, and, when flying, it had all the 
appearance of a sea-gull. Being a bird of passage, it 


follows the storks, which are also very numerous here, 
in their long flight to the river Nile, and, during its short 
summer visit to the Save, six beautiful feathers grow 
below the wings, which form a part of the national cos- 
tume of the Plungarian magnates, being worn in their 
calpaCy or fur-cap. These birds are only found here; 
they are so wild that it is very difficult to get a shot at 
them, and the precious feathers are so often injured when 
they are fired at, that the price of the plume is con- 
sequently very high, auiounting generally to 200 florins, 
or 20/. sterhng. 

The river is very wide at this place, and there are 
three large islands lying parallel to each other in its 
breadth, one of which is nearly two miles in length, 
while the trees and brushwood on them form a perfect 
thicket, offering innumerable retreats for game. As we. 
proceeded the Serbian shore became gradually more bold 
and rocky, until at last it rose in perpendicular cliffs 
and crags of grey limestone, streaked with red veins of 
iron, and tufted with shrubs ; deep pools, eddying and 
gurghng with the tortuous flow of the stream, betrayed 
the treacherous proximity of hidden rocks ; but the 
steamer cut through the rippling water with undeviating 
course, and soon brought us within sight of Belgrade. 

The view of that celebrated city and fortress is much 
finer from the Save than from the Danube, as it is seen 
by most travellers who descend that river from Vienna 
on their way to Constantinople, or vice versa. I took a 
sketch of it, notwithstanding that it has been so often 
visited and described, for it is an interesting place; 
more so, however, from the vicissitudes of its history 

I 2 



than from any intrinsic attraction it possesses. It is a 
filthy town, half Oriental and half European, without dis- 
playing a distinct character of any kind, and offering little 
that is worthy of remark, either as the capital of a pro- 
vince, or as a military position. But it is impossible to pass 
altogether unnoticed a locality, which has played so distin- 
guished a part in the wars of the last three centuries. 

No town in the world, perhaps, ever stood so many 
sieges as Belgrade : it was taken by Suleyman I. in 
the year 1522; by the Elector Maximilian of Bavaria, 
in 1688 ; again by the Turks, in 1690 ; by the famous 
Prince Eugene, in 1717; by Laudon, in 1789; by 
the Turks, for the third time, in 1791 ; and by the 
Serbian hero, Czerny George, in 1806. The forti- 
fications, however, are not such as would be able 
to hold out against a modern attack so long as they 
did on these several occasions, for they have never been 
improved, but merely restored according as they required 
repairs ; and the place, being of no great size, might be 
better defended, and by a smaller garrison, if the lines 
were not so much extended, and if detached forts, con- 
taining bomb-proof magazines, were raised to command 
the different fronts. The position is naturally strong, as 
it is surrounded on three sides by the Save and the 
Danube, at the confluence of which rivers it stands ; and 
it is also sufficiently high to prevent its being attacked 
with success from any other point, for the rock is 
upwards of a hundred feet in height ; but the long and 
low batteries on the water are weak and ill-flanked, and 
a vigorous assault by a breach in them, which it would 
hardly be difficult to effect, could not be easily with- 

SEMLIN. 117 

stood in their present state. But Belgrade is no longer 
of the same degree of importance as it formerly was, for 
it could not now close the navigation of the two rivers, 
which would always be practicable for the passage of an 
army, as well as for trade, by means of steamboats, with 
less risk than by sailing ships ; and there are, moreover, 
several large islands which might be occupied with advan- 
tage to protect steamers from the fire of the fortress. 

As the residence of the Prince of Serbia, Belgrade 
might be expected to make a better show than it does ; 
and, as a city of more than seventy thousand inhabitants, 
it might certainly have made greater progress than it 
seems to have done, in the state of half-independence 
with regard to internal administration, and with the 
constitutional form of government which the province 
of Serbia enjoys under the Sultan. But this capital 
possesses no manufactures of any importance to introduce 
wealth, and, though trade is apparently active, it is 
merely as a place of transit that it can claim any degree 
of commercial estimation. 

We crossed the Danube to Semlin, where we purposed 
embarking for Orsova. This was the largest town of 
Sclavonia that we had yet seen, its population being 
nearly ten thousand. It is one of the principal stations 
of the Danube steamers, and it is the most considerable 
quarantine post on the southern frontier of Austria. Its 
trade is chiefly carried on by Serbians and Greeks, as 
there are not many Germans established here, and the 
Sclavonians are anything but a mercantile people. 

We walked about the town for an hour or two after 
our arrival, making our observations on the natives. 

118 SEMLIN. 

The first straight Ime that we followed led us to a height 
covered with wretched huts, and called the Zigeiinerberg, 
or Gipsey-hill, from the class of inhabitants dwelling on 
it; and thence we proceeded to the ruins of the cele- 
brated Johann Hunyad's castle, standing on a conical 
mound in the neighbourhood ; but they possessed little 
interest. We next visited the market-place, which was 
crowded with waggons drawn by oxen, and driven by 
peasants wearing coarse white trowsers, so loose that 
they looked exactly like long petticoats hanging down to 
their sandals ; while their upper garment was a sheep- 
skin, with the skinny side out, and the hairy side in, as 
Paddy says. I have often observed how very warmly 
the peasants of southern climes clothe themselves in 
summer : when we are as Hghtly clad as well can be, 
and suffer miserably from the heat, they walk about at 
noon in thick woollen dresses, and do not seem to mind 
it. In Greece this is most remarkable ; and I remember 
that, when an epidemic was raging, they were much less 
susceptible of its influence than those who followed an 
opposite system of toilette. Let doctors explain the 
cause — I only note the effect. 

There are a great many shops at Semlin, but a strange 
confusion of callings appeared to exist : ladies' caps, 
bonnets, and artificial flowers, for instance, were sold by 
a grocer ; pastry was laid out in a shoemaker's window ; 
and the apothecary dealt in pocket-books and tobacco- 
pipes, as well as in drugs and herbs. There was no 
bookseller's shop at Semlin. A bookseller is as good a 
criterion of a town as any I know, and Semlin fell low 
in my estimation, when I discovered that it did not 


possess one. We remarked a hardware shop at the sign 
of King Otho, whose full-length portrait, in the Greek 
costume, and as large as life, was displayed at the door. 
A coffee-house bore the title of the " Slavisches Gaffe - 
haus/' which was a bold display of nationality in an 
Austrian town, and added another testimony to the 
existence of that spirit amongst the Sclavonic nations, 
considering that it was used as a decoy for customers. 

Having sent my passport to be countersigned for 
Orsova, I returned to the inn to learn the result ; and 
I was then told that what I wished could not be 
effected. I hurried to the police-office, to inquire into 
the motives of this singular prohibition to my pro- 
secuting my journey, being tormented, as I went, by 
certain unpleasant misgivings touching my quondam 
fellow-passenger, the little officer of the Frontier Gorps. 
No explanation was afforded me ; and when 1 pressed 
the matter, I was referred to the military authorities. 
I proceeded to the garrison orderly-room, and addressed 
myself to an officer who was seated there, representing 
to him how unreasonable it was that I should be pre- 
vented from continuing my journey, without any justi- 
fiable motive ; and that the only alternative being, that I 
should leave the Austrian territory, I could not do so by 
a shorter route than Orsova, unless they forced me to go 
through the Turkish provinces, which would be an apt 
illustration of the comparisons drawn between the govern- 
ments of the two empires, as I should certainly meet 
with no such impediment in Serbia and Bulgaria. 

" Ah, that is just it ! " he replied. " Sir, I cannot 
give you any assistance." 


It was evident that my unfortunate antithetical pro- 
pensities stood in my way, and that what I had said, 
supposing it to be a most persuasive argument, had, on 
the contrary, acted as a corroboration of the suspicions 
raised against me, whatever they might be. I determined 
to go to the fountain-head, and I asked to see the Com- 
mandant. This was at once agreed to, and I was shown 
into a room where I was received by another officer, 
whom I conjectured to be the aide-de-camp. To him I 
stated my case, which he seemed not to have heard of, 
but he was evidently struck by the fact that his inferiors 
had objected, and he apparently thought it incumbent 
on him to do the same. He examined my passport, 
which he appeared to understand, although it was in 
English ; and he tried for some time in vain to find 
something to say on the subject, by comparing the diffe- 
rent dates and signatures, all of which I proved to be in 
regular order. At last he hoped to hit the right nail on 
the head, and he declared triumphantly that the term 
had expired, as the passport had been granted for a year, 
and fifteen months had elapsed since I had received it. 
I answered that the sign manual and seal of an ambas- 
sador renewed the term, and that he might perceive the 
observance of that formality at the British Embassy of 
Paris. Being foiled on every point, but still anxious to 
dispute the matter, he left the room with the precious 
document. Returning after a few minutes, he quietly 
sat down and left me to my reflections. At last an 
elderly officer opened the door, and said to the aide-de- 
camp, — " Where is the English gentleman ? " 

I bowed. He invited me to follow him, and treated 


me with marked politeness. When we were in the next 
room, he closed the door, and offered me a chair. He 
then commenced a desultory conversation on things in 
general, which we kept up for some time on the most 
friendly terms possible ; and finally he remarked that he 
had heard I wished to proceed to Orsova. I replied in 
the affirmative, mentally ejaculating: — 

" Now comes the tug of war !" 

But I was mistaken, for he merely took my passport 
from the table in silence, and countersigned it for Orsova, 
affixing his name and rank : — 

" I, Kreutner, Major General, commanding the town, 
garrison, and district of Semlin." 

He handed it to me in the most courteous manner, 
adding : — 

" You will now meet with no further difficulty ; I wish 
you a prosperous journey. Sir." 

I thanked him, and took leave, resolved on thus 
recording his name, as being that of a most gentlemanly 
man, and of an officer who is superior to the absurd 
prejudices and suspicions which pervade the admini- 
stration of his country. 

My next care was to get some gold exchanged for 
bank-notes, by which transaction I would gain nearly 
thirty per cent, besides keeping a more convenient 
medium of currency at my command. I applied to the 
innkeeper, who was a Greek, and he at once volunteered 
to make me acquainted with one of the first merchants 
of the place, who, he said, was a countryman of his. I 
accepted his proposal, and we proceeded together to the 
counting-house of his friend. After a formal introduction 

122 A GREEK. 

to the old gentleman, I stated my request, which he 
immediately complied with. I put a number of gold 
pieces into his hand. He counted them carelessly, and 
went to his iron chest, which he opened. I remarked, 
however, that, when apparently looking at the Vienna 
newspaper, and telling me what the exchange was, he 
minutely examined my coins, one by one ; then, calcu- 
lating the amount in notes, he counted them and gave 
them to me. I hurriedly glanced over them, and, after 
a little conversation, I left him with the expression of 
my acknowledgment of the favour he had done me, as 
I considered myself to be under a certain degree of 
obligation to him, on account of his profit having been 
merely that of the regular exchange, without commission 
or other per-centage ; but, when T reached the inn, I 
looked at the Vienna newspaper of the same date, and 
perceived that he had misquoted the rate, and, on agaia 
counting the notes, I found that he had cheated me even 
on that amount. He had counted them several times 
himself, and I could not therefore suppose it to be a 
mistake; but, having reflected that a man who was 
capable of intentionally purloining a small sum in so 
mean a manner, would not readily disgorge his pilferings 
without my taking more trouble than the affair was 
worth, and that any such atte^upt on my part would 
likewise be of most doubtful success, I determined on 
leaving him to the future condemnation of his own con- 
science, if such a piece of furniture could exist in a house 
so badly set in order. 

In the afternoon we walked out of the town, which, 
we now saw, is weakly defended on the land- side by a 

A GREEK. 123 

small ditch and palisade ; we proceeded about half-a- 
mile along a broad road, with a line of large trees on 
each side, and then reached a public garden, where 
several groups of Semlin cits were eating bread and 
cheese and drinking beer in front of a sort of coffee- 
house. Three Turks, in their dolamas and turbans, were 
also sipping the German beverage in silent gravity, while 
two pretty girls were playing an accompaniment on 
harps to the flute and violin of a young man, and, 
strange to say, of another young woman. When they 
had finished a lively air, one of the stately Osmanlis ex- 
pressed his satisfaction by taking his pipe from his mouth 
and gracefully approaching the jewelled amber to the rosy 
lips of one of the fair harpers ; she burst out laughing, 
to the utter astonishment and indignation of the son 
of Osman, who drew back in proud reserve, and cast a 
glance of withering scorn and contempt around him. 

We were attracted by a numerous chorus of female 
voices, which seemed to emanate from a large build- 
ing in the neighbourhood. On reaching it, we found 
that it was a silk winding establishment, and about 
fifty young girls were singing together as they turned 
the reels, or sat at the cauldrons full of cocoons. We 
inquired to whom it belonged, and were told that it 
w^as the property of the same Greek merchant who had 
robbed me of a few zwanzigers in the morning. Poor 
girls ! After a hard day's work, they were probably the 
victims of a similar process, and they could not afford to 
lose much on their hard-earned wages, which did not 
exceed, as I was told, three-pence sterling per diem; 
but they sang not the less merrily. 



We were up before sunrise, on the following morning, 
and ready to embark in the steamer for Orsova. An- 
other Greek ! The innkeeper, who had told us the price 
of our rooms when we took possession of them, had the 
effrontery to ask a higher payment when we were about 
to leave them. He had probably understood the trick 
of his fellow-countryman, and wished to try his hand 
also on the verdant gentleman, who had quietly sub- 
mitted to the imposition ; but it availed him nothing, 
as he had not been so very Greek as the merchant, 
inasmuch as his attempt, though quite as dishonest, was 
less adroit, and, moreover, the greenness of the victim 
had given place to the fiery hues of anger ; and, rather 
than face the storm, the Hellene withdrew his rash 




There were ninety passengers on board the Danube 
steamer ; Hungarians, Serbians, Turks, Greeks, Arme- 
nians, Germans, and Jews, both men and women, all 
huddled together on the deck ; in the cabin, however, 
there were not many, as most of them were travelling 
short distances and had taken deck-places. We con- 
versed a good deal with some of them, and we found, as 
is frequently the case, that acquaintances, thus irregu- 
larly formed, can become more agreeable than those 
established by formal introduction. But there is some- 
thing unwarrantably indiscreet in the manner of accost- 
ing one, which is often practised by foreigners; and 
several persons in the steamer, apparently respectable, 
saw no impropriety in commencing a conversation by 
such point-blank questions as the following : — " Who 
are you?" " Where are you going?" and " What is 
the object of your journey?" We received their ad- 
vances, however, with the best grace we could, in the 
hope of obtaining information from them ; and, as there 
were three or fonr most intelligent and well-informed 
persons amongst the passengers, who had taken an active 
part in the late insurrectionary war of Hungary, and 


who spoke openly and well on the subject, we heard 
much that was interesting, both as regarded the past 
vicissitudes and the present condition of the country. 
These steamers had on many occasions been pressed into 
the service both of Hungary and of Austria, during the 
struggle between them ; and one of the officers of the 
vessel we were in, by birth a Frenchman, joined in our 
conversations, adding such shrewd remarks as proved 
him to have been an impartial observer. He said that 
the company which he served had invariably been better 
treated by the Hungarians than by the Austrians, when 
their steamers had been forcibly made use of. 

To the north was an immense plain, rich in agricul- 
tural resources, and literally teeming with luxuriant vege- 
tation, stretching back to the distant mountains, which 
formed one continuous chain of heights covered with 
valuable timber, and containing mineral wealth to an 
incalculable amount ; while the eye could trace, as we 
proceeded rapidly along, the courses of several navigable 
rivers, ready to convey the produce of the country to the 
Danube and the Black Sea, or to the Adriatic by the 
Save and the Loiiisenstrasse. The soil, fertile and exten- 
sive ; the inhabitants, hardy, enterprising and laborious ; 
the elements of abundance everywhere ; and yet misery 
stared one in the face. Are the people of Hungary 
responsible for their own wretched condition ? Or is 
this an illustration of the paternal rule of the Austrian 
emperor? The fundamental principle of Imperial con- 
solidation is respect for the national and historical peculi- 
arities of the various races which form the empire ; it has 
been the sole secret of British success in India ; its neglect 


is the primary cause of the decline of Austiia. No 
empire in the world ever required the practice of that 
theory more fully than this, and in no part of it has it 
been so completely disregarded as here. 

The kingdom of Hungary, with Transylvania and 
Croatia, is about the size of Great Britain and Ireland, 
and it has a population of nearly 15,000,000. Of these 
the Magyars are 5,000,000 in number; the Sclavonians, 
who are called in Hungary, Russniacs and Slovacs, (per- 
haps by an easy anagram of the word Sclavo,) amount 
to 6,000,000; there are upwards of 1,600,000 Germans, 
Jews, and Gypsies; and in the eastern territory the 
descendants of Trajan's Dadan colonies, now known as 
the Wallachs or Roumans, form a distinct nation of 
3,000,000, about as many more of them being subjects 
of the Sultan. There are in Europe three populations 
altogether foreign to the great races of the continent, 
and, although they are placed at considerable distances 
from each other, some ethnologists attribute to them a 
similarity of origin ; these are the Finns on the shores of 
the Baltic, the Basques of Spain, and the Magyars of Hun- 
gary., The latter dispute their being a cognate people 
with the other two, and claim descent from the Huns 
of Attila, contending that they are a Tatar tribe which 
inhabited the western slope of the Ural chain in about 
65"^ of N. latitude. They say that they received their 
name from the waggons, called in their language madjar, 
in which they travelled when they came to the banks of 
the Danube, by traversing the shores of the Sea of Azof 
and the Crimea. This migration took place about the 
end of the 9th century, under the guidance of the 


celebrated Arpad. His posterity ruled the Magyars for 
more than a hundred years as Dukes of Hungary, until 
Stephen, surnamed the Holy, received from the Pope, in 
acknowledgment of his zeal in the cause of Christianity, 
the gift of a crown and a cross, in virtue of which he w^as 
afterwards styled King and Apostle. At the beginning 
of the 14th century, the dynasty of Arpad became 
extinct, and a foreign prince was elected to occupy the 
throne. Internal dissensions then commenced as in 
Poland, where that invariable brand of discord, an elec- 
tive monarchy, also existed ; and it was not until Hun- 
gary was attacked by the Turks under Sultan Suleyman 
in 1526, that union was restored among the turbulent 
nobles; but it did not save the country, for the disastrous 
battle of Mohacs gave rise to a civil war, which finished 
by placing the crown of St. Stephen on the head of Fer- 
dinand I. of Austria ; and the House of Hapsburgh has 
continued ever since to be its elective sovereigns. It was 
the Austrian alliance that then prevented Hungary from 
becoming permanently a province of Turkey ; but the 
Magyars cleared off that debt most nobly, if such it can 
be considered, when they rallied round the throne of Maria 
Theresa in 174] ; and they also became the benefactors 
of Austria, when their Palatine appealed to their Diet in 
1812, by declaring that " Hungary alone could save the 
Empire, as she had previously done." These are their 
historical antecedents ; have their relative positions been . 
rightly appreciated by Austria? Contemporary history 
judges that question. With regard to their national 
peculiarities, the Emperors have acted with a degree of 
blindness and infatuation equal only to their injustice. 


The Magyars are the nobles of Plungary, while the 
Sclav onians and Roumans are their yeomen. The former 
is one of the most vigorous races of Europe, and, 
except the nobility of Poland and that of Great Britain, 
it is the only aristocracy in Europe which has not 
merited and earned the contempt of their respective 

If it still possesses some of the vices of the feudal age, 
it has also retained many of the virtues of that era of 
chivalry. The patriotism of the Magyars is heroic, and 
they abhor treachery and bad faith, while their turbulence 
and strong passions are capable of ultimately settling 
down to active energy and salutary vigour ; and in the 
meantime these qualities render their spirit of nationality 
pre-eminently enthusiastic, and indomitably tenacious. 
Their political opinions are essentially liberal. In 
number they surpass every other existing patrician order, 
as their privileges were granted to each individual who 
killed a Turk in battle : a class of pauper nobles was 
thus created, but in moral character the poorest of them 
is as proud and independent as the four princely families 
of Esterhazy, Batthyani, Grassalkovitza, and Palfi. 

After the general settlement of European destinies, 
which resulted in 1815 from the fall of their hitherto 
great ordainer. Napoleon Buonaparte, and after kings 
and states had resumed the crowns and their boundaries, 
usurped and invaded by that bold adventurer, a period 
of repose seemed necessary for the recovery of national 
energies, enfeebled and distracted by universal con- 
vulsions. One nation was at length roused by the 
ambition of a family to substitute a junior branch of 

VOL. I. K 


their royal house for the elder, and the craftiness of the 
individual deluded the people into the belief that such 
a change would conciUate all their wants and wishes. 
Another, more uncompromising, rose in arms against 
the northern monarch who had enthralled it, and was 
again crushed beneath the overwhelming weight of a 
great empire. And in the southern regions of Europe, 
several partial attempts to throw off a galling yoke, were 
speedily suppressed by physical superiority of strength. 

In the German states alone, not a word was whispered 
of the oppression of foreig-n rulers, or of the desire of 
national independence ; not a thought of glory was 
conceived beyond the reminiscenses of the great battle 
of Leipsic and the exploits of old Blucher ; and not a 
head but bowed before the despotic glance of Metternich. 
French revolutions, Polish insurrections, and Italian con- 
spiracies, were familiar ideas ; but a political movement 
in Austria had never been contemplated as a con- 
tingency lying within the range of probabilities. Few 
persons were even aware of the fact that, under the 
absolute sceptres of the Kaisers, a nation differing from 
the Germans in origin, character, and language, more 
powerful in numbers, talent, valour, and moral worth, and 
long habituated to the representative system of govern- 
ment, was progressively maturing its plans and resources 
for a vigorous effort to recover those liberal institutions 
which had at last been virtually wrested from it by an 
undue application of the authority vested in the Emperor 
of Austria by his election as King of Hungary. 

Yet such was the case. Amidst the assemblage of 
States which composed the Austrian empire, stood the 


ancient kingdom of Hungary, — a kingdom whose organ- 
ization was so essentially different from that of the 
others, that it became a vital question with the govern- 
ment to reduce it to the common standard of absolute 
rule, lest they should all violently assimilate themselves 
to it by rising to the level of that one in which a con- 
trary system existed. From time immemorial had 
Hungary preserved her independent administration and 
peculiar forms of legislation, notwithstanding that she 
had annexed herself to Austria ; no artifice of the latter 
had prevailed, during the lapse of several centuries, to 
deprive her of her institutions ; and the Pragmatical 
Sanction, as it was called, of Charles VI. was the sole 
tie which united the two heterogeneous countries. As 
soon as a single paragraph of that document should be 
abrogated, the bond between them must fall to the 
ground, a violent struggle must ensue, and considering 
the respective strength of the two parties, who but a 
madman would put his hand to such a deed ? Austria 
was mad enough to do it, illustrating the old remark, 
" Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat." 

By the Pragmatical Sanction, the reciprocal relations 
w^ere so established, that Hungary should be considered 
inseparable from Austria; but the Constitution of 1790 
interpreted the conditions at greater length by especially 
stipulating that the kingdom should remain as a free State 
attached to the Empire, altogether independent of it in 
its legislative and administrative systems. The Hun- 
garian opposition to the Austrian policy was raised by 
the recent attempts of the Imperial cabinet to govern the 
kingdom directly, instead of adhering exclusively to the 

K 2 



right enjoyed by the House of Hapsburgh to reign over 
it through the medium of a national administration. 
The Magyar party formed the nucleus of this opposition. 

Surrounded by the Sclavonian and Rouman popula- 
tions of Hungary, that people has retained its peculiar 
character, customs, and language, without amalgamating 
with them; and their resolute energy, high mettle, and 
superior intellect alone have prevented the more nume- 
rous races inhabiting the same country from becoming 
predominant. The Magyar is of a robust constitution, 
and of a warhke disposition ; determined and persevering 
in the pursuit of his purpose ; mild when unmolested, 
but of indomitable obstinacy if his rights are invaded, 
and of implacable resentment when his pride is hurt; 
for the Magyar is more proud even than the Spaniard. 
In appearance he is generally tall, slight, and strong; 
small eyes, prominent brows, and high cheek-bones indi- 
cate his Tatar origin ; and his dark complexion is of a 
totally different character from that of the southern 
Europeans, being of a purely Oriental stamp. 

The disaffection of the Magyar population towards 
Austria had been growing for many years, in proportion 
as the systematic endeavours of the Emperor to incorpo- 
rate their government with that of the other states 
assumed a gradually increasing appearance of aggression. 
Many individuals boldly and openly combatted the ten- 
dency of their rulers to destroy their national institutions, 
which consisted in a double representation, by an Upper 
and Lower House of Parliament, with other privileges 
sanctioned by time, and become inherent in the existence 
of the kingdom ; and the most distinguished leaders of 


this patriotic band were Wesseleny, Ballogh, Carl Huszar, 
Louis Batthyani, Francis Deak, and several others. 
But one, far more vigorous and powerful as a speaker 
than any of these, soon arose to advocate their cause, 
and rendered his name identical with it all over Eu- 
rope. This was Louis Kossuth. If his merits as a 
statesman be doubtful, his eloquence, at least, is incon- 
testible; and he soon became the first orator of the 
national party. 

When the Parisian revolution of February, 1848, was 
consummated, he made a speech on the subject, in which 
he openly called on the Lower House to proclaim the 
independence of the country from an empire which had 
violated all the conditions of their union : it was received 
with enthusiasm, and the idea spread rapidly from the 
centre of the kingdom to its circumference, firing every 
class of the population with the most exalted zeal for 
their country, and striking terror and dismay into the 
breasts of their rulers at Vienna. It was also hailed by 
the German people with shouts of joy, and it was the 
immediate cause of the outbreak of insurrection in the 
city of the Caesars, where Kossuth's speech was publicly 
read by a student to a mob, which the Archduke Albert 
ordered his soldiers to disperse. 

Two days later, several steamers reached Vienna from 
Pesth and Presburgh, crowded with Hungarians eager 
to join the insurgents ; Kossuth was among them. He 
frequently addressed the people of Vienna. He did not 
allow himself, however, to be run away with by the 
exultation arising from the first flush of success, but 
restricted his views for his country to the limits of strict 



legality ; and, when taking advantage of the panic which 
had fallen on the Emperor and his cabinet to state the 
demands of the Hungarians, he merely claimed for them 
what they were justly entitled to. These claims con- 
sisted in the formation of a purely Hungarian admini- 
stration, and the transfer to it of the government of the 
MiHtary Frontiers, which had hitherto been conducted in 
the War Office at Vienna. Panic-stricken and powerless 
as the Imperial Cabinet then w^as, it made these con- 
cessions without resistance; and the Hungarian chiefs 
returned to Presburgh, whence they immediately removed 
the seat of the legislature to Pesth, the ancient capital 
of the kingdom. 

The new administration was formed. Louis Batthyani 
became the President, and Kossuth was appointed 
Minister of Finance. The latter however was, in fact, 
the leading spirit and the soul of the government. 
It set to w^ork assiduously to remodel the organization 
of the country. 

When the Austrian government had somewhat re- 
covered its lost position through the exploits of Win- 
dischgratz and of Jellachich with his Croats at Vienna, 
and when the Emperor had regained sufficient courage 
to face the difficulties and dangers by which he was 
surrounded, the first thought was directed towards 
Hungary, and schemes of violent retractation of the 
granted boons were entertained. This was not only, 
folly — it was delirium. Intrigues were set on foot in 
Croatia, Sclavonia, and the Military Frontiers. A spirit 
of Sclavonian nationality was roused against Magyarism. 
Those provinces seceded from the Hungarian kingdom. 


and declared their adhesion to the re-estabUshed gover n 
ment at Vienna, and a hostile feeling was fomented 
between the Croatians and Hungarians. Kossuth, 
perceiving the danger, addressed the Parliament on 
the subject, explaining the critical situation in which 
Hungary was placed, and asking for a vote of forty-two 
millions of florins for the purpose of raising an army 
of two hundred thousand men to defend the country. 
The effect produced by his eloquence was such, that 
the assembly rose to a man and unanimously voted the 
supplies. The Emperor was invited in the most cordial 
terms to prefer Pesth, as king of Hungary, to Innspruck, 
where he had taken refuge from the disturbances of 
Vienna, as count of the Tyrol. He was formally and 
respectfully requested to come and reign over his 
Hungarian subjects as long as he should think fit to 
remain absent from his German capital ; and he was 
informed that, if such were his wish, they would receive 
with gratitude a king of his own selection from amongst 
the members of his family, the young Archduke Francis 
Joseph, now Emperor, being indicated as more especially 
acceptable to the nation. But the spirit of Maria 
Theresa was extinct in the imperial house of Austria, 
and the most impotent infatuation had taken its place. 
The friendly proposals were rejected, the resentful feelings 
were persisted in, and warlike preparations were com- 
menced. Another deputation was sent to the Emperor, 
when he returned to Vienna, consisting of a hundred 
and twenty members of the Legislature, selected from 
both houses of Parliament. They remonstrated with 
profound deference, but with honourable firmness. 


against his conduct as king of Hungary, and they 
again stated their just claims. An answer was returned 
in direct contradiction to the respective legal rights of 
the two parties. All the demands of the Hungarians 
were coldly negatived, and, on the same day, Jellachich 
passed the river Drave with eighteen thousand men, of 
regular troops, and thirty-six thousand Croats, and other 
Sclavonians. He thus advanced upon Hungary without 
any previous declaration on the part of the Austrian 

Kossuth instantly published an address to the Hun- 
garian nation, calling upon them to take up arms in 
defence of their country and hereditary privileges. It 
w^as nobly responded to ; for legions of volunteers w^ere 
formed, people of all classes enrolled themselves in their 
ranks, and the most active preparations for deteruiined 
resistance w^ere made on all sides. Kossuth then visited 
some of the provinces, encouraging and inciting their 
inhabitants to join the national army. Everywhere he 
was received with the greatest enthusiasm. Towns were 
illuminated when he entered them, and royal honours 
were awarded to him, while his endeavours were in 
every respect crowned with the most brilliant success. 

An Imperial Manifesto, addressed to all the military 
authorities in Hungary and to the soldiers serving under 
them, both of the regular troops and of the national 
militia, was then sent from Vienna. It ordered them, 
to receive Count Lamberg, a German general, as their 
Commander-in-Chief, and to obey him as such on his 
arrival at Pesth for the purpose of forcibly suppressing 
the dissensions existing in Hungary, and with the view 


of bringing the Hungarians immediately back to their 
previous state of peaceful allegiance to the Emperor. 
An extraordinary meeting of the Parliament was called. 
Kossuth declared this manifesto to be illegal, because 
it had been issued without the concurrence of the Hun- 
garian ministry, as required by the Constitution, which 
bore the Emperor's sign and seal of ratification and 
sanction ; and he read a proclamation which he pro- 
posed that the parliament should publish ; it was unani- 
mously adopted. This appeal to the army and to the 
nation fully explained the bearings of their position, and, 
in the name of the law and of the constitution, it enjoined 
the troops to refuse obedience to Count Lamberg, while 
it summoned the people to defend the country which 
was unjustly invaded. 

The influence of Kossuth over his fellow-countrymen 
was exemplified on this occasion by an act, unwarrant- 
able, it is true, and most cruel, but the blame must be 
shared at least by those who wantonly provoked them to 
commit it. The answer of the Hungarians to the pro- 
clamation was unequivocal ; when Count Lamberg was 
recognised driving into the town of Pesth, he was 
dragged from his carriage by an infuriated mob, and 
murdered on the spot. The Parliament addressed to 
the Emperor a declaration of their regret and horror of 
this deed, and resolved that the murderers should be 
brought to justice. 

The Archduke Stephen, who was invested with the 
dignity of Palatine of Hungary, fled from Pesth to 
Vienna. The Emperor being no longer represented in 
the country, the Legislature took the direction of affairs 


into their own hands. A committee for the defence of 
the country was formed, of which Kossuth was named 
President, and this body thenceforth became the execu- 
tive government. 

Then commenced that chivalrous and sanguinary war 
which furnished the topic of several most interesting 
conversations with our fellow-passengers on board the 
Danube steamer ; a war which originated in the bad faith 
of Austria towards Hungary, which w^as precipitated to 
open hostilities by the traditional pusillanimity of the 
Imperial family, who screened themselves behind their 
armies, instead of endeavouring to conciKate the irritated 
feelings of their subjects ; and which was concluded in 
their favour by the cooperation of the only other Euro- 
pean power that is capable of trampling on treaties and 
acknowledged rights, for the purpose of gratifying the 
insatiable and unprincipled ambition of a dynasty. 

A young Slovac was leaning against the bulwark, 
near where we stood on the deck of the steamer, soon 
after leaving Semlin ; his embroidered jacket and his 
fur cap indicated that he was a Hungarian, and his 
proud and open countenance, betraying that bold spirit 
of independence which is characteristic of the nation, at 
once convinced me that he was not such an one as could 
have remained indifferent to their late struggle for 
freedom, or would have abstained from throwing his 
life into the scale, which was fated to kick the beam 
when the balance was turned by the weight of another 
empire ; and I was wondering what part he had acted 
in the tragic drama just concluded, when a crutch in his 
hand attracted my attention, and I discovered a single 



Hessian boot. I could not resist the temptation, and 
went to speak to him, but he was master of very few 
words of German, and I could only understand that he 
had been a volunteer with the gallant old Bern, and that 
a cannon ball had taken off his leg at the battle against 
the Russians under the walls of Hermannstadt, in Tran- 
sylvania. An elderly gentleman of mihtary appearance 
then approached us, and after talking some time in 
Hungarian to the young soldier, offered me his assist- 
ance as interpreter in the most polite manner. Through 
him I learnt, that the gallant youth's horse having at 
the same time been shot under him, he was left on the 
field when the Hungarians entered the town during the 
night at the point of the bayonet. The horrors of that 
cold winter night, he said, beggared all description ; the 
carcase of a horse lying on one of his legs, while the 
other was mutilated and shattered to pieces ; his body 
writhing with agony, and his mouth parched with thirst ; 
wolves prowling about amongst the dead and the dying ; 
and the routed Russians scouring the plain, galloping 
over the bodies of their prostrate and disabled, though 
victorious enemies, and firing upon them or thrusting at 
them with their long lances as they hurried furiously 
from the conquered city. At last the day dawned, after 
a night which had appeared to him interminable, and he 
was conveyed into Hermannstadt to undergo a frightful 
amputation. The wound was now closed; but, as he 
still suffered pain, he was on his way to the mineral 
baths of Mehadia, of which he had been advised to try 
the effects. 

That campaign of General Bern's was one of the most 


brilliant exploits existing in the annals of modern war- 
fare. The old Polish hero raised, in an astonishingly 
short space of time, an army of thirty thousand men, well 
provided with artillery and ammunition ; he drove the 
Austrian troops out of Transylvania towards the north, 
retraced his steps with unprecedented rapidity to attack 
the towns of Cronstadt and Hermannstadt, the Austrian 
garrisons of which had petitioned for assistance from the 
Russian army in Wallachia, and beat his enemy at both 
places successively, with a degree of activity w^hich 
resembled ubiquity. General Liiders, the officer com- 
manding the Russians, had despatched two columns 
under General Engelhardt and Colonel Scariatin. The 
latter reached Hermannstadt ; Bem attacked him, killed 
eleven hundred men, took a thousand prisoners besides 
artillery and ammunition, and drove him back to the 
Red Tower in the Carpathian Mountains. Engelhardt 
had taken up his position in the meantime, but the 
old General went by forced marches to meet him ; the 
Russians could not stand before him, and they also 
recrossed the frontier in rapid flight. 

His glory then began to wane. Old Father Bem, as 
the Hungarians called him, had formerly served in the 
same Russian regiment in which General Liiders had 
commenced his military career : when he heard of the 
advance of the main body of Russians, he said to his 
staff ■ — 

" Nous allons voir ce que c'est que ce petit Liiders." 
Le petit Liiders, or rather the strong force which he 
commanded, proved too much for him ; the Hungarians 
were driven out of Cronstadt : the Russians marched 


on Hermannstadt ; and the insurgents laid down tlieir 
arms. Bern was not discouraged ; he assembled the 
remains of his army, amounting to twenty thousand men, 
with fourteen pieces of cannon, and attempted to con- 
tinue the war. He marched on Hermannstadt, and 
defeated the Russians under General Hasford ; but 
Liiders appeared on the following day, and, when the 
dauntless Pole gave battle, he was soon overpowered. 
The Russian division then joined the army in the centre 
of Hungary, adding to their overwhelming numbers ; 
and when they had succeeded, together with the Aus- 
trians, in suppressing the general insurrection, poor Bem 
took refuge in the Turkish territory, th<3re to die mise- 
rably of a fever. 




We steamed gaily ' along between the wooded hills of 
Serbia and the wide plains of Hungary. No less than 
10,000,000 of sheep, besides horned cattle and swine, 
are said to be fed on the latter ; and this is one of the 
principal produce of the country, for the Magyars have 
little to boast of in the way of manufactures ; and with 
120,000,000 of bushels of grain, and 20,000,000 of 
eimers of wine, their pasturage makes up the sum of 
their resources. The mines also form a profitable item, 
though ill-worked. 

A Croatian soldier was sleeping under a carriage that 
sheltered him from the burning rays of the sun, on the 
deck of the steamer, and I perceived the young Hunga- 
rian gazing on the countenance of the sleeper with an 
expression of implacable hatred, which told of the fierce 
passions roused by civil war; for the Slovacs and the 
Croats are one people, although they fought last year as 
deadly foes. I drew the attention of our obliging inter- 
preter to that inexorable glance of scorn, and he remarked 
that it could not be otherwise, after the conduct of the 
Croatian troops. He said that he had served as a Major 
under General Moga, in the first action of the war, when 


Jellachich was advancing with his hordes of wild ban- 
ditti, plundering and burning the Hungarian villages, 
and kilHng their inhabitants of all ages and of both 
sexes. The national troops met them at Velencze, and, 
although they numbered only half the force of the 
invaders, they completely routed them, after a hard 
day's fighting and great slaughter. My informant added 
that he, as well as many others of the Magyar officers, 
had received written proposals from the Austrian general, 
before the engagement, offering them the most advan- 
tageous terms if they would desert their colours and 
join him : they all implied that their cannon would con- 
vey their answer. It was officially reported on that 
occasion that Jellachich had made some of his regular 
troops fire on his Croatians from behind, in order to 
force them to attack the Hungarians ; and the Croatian 
prisoners, who were taken, declared that they fought 
against them with the greatest reluctance ; it thus 
appears that the roving Croats were lured on by plun- 
der, and, even when reaping an abundant harvest, they 
were unwilling to oppose the Hungarians, for their 
personal bravery cannot be doubted. The communi- 
cative Magyar required little pressing to induce him to 
relate the incidents of that first campaign ; and although 
he displayed a strong spirit of nationality, with its con- 
comitant prejudices, the information which I afterwards 
gathered from other sources proved the correctness of 
most of his statements and views on the subject. 

The Ban, he said, immediately requested an armistice 
of three days, and Moga granted it ; but, regardless of 
his military honour and renown, the former broke it, and 



retreated by a flank march, abandoning his sick and 
wounded. He tried to obtain admission, first at Comorn, 
and then at Presburgh ; in both places he was refused ; 
and he continued his flight from Hungary to Vienna, 
where he arrived in time to play his well-known part in 
the Austrian insurrection. 

The division of General Roth and PhiKpovich, con- 
sisting of 10,000 Croats, was skilfully out-manoeuvred 
by the gallant Perczel, who had only 4,000 Magyars 
under his command; and he took them all prisoners, 
and brought them in triumph to Pesth, where they 
were treated with the greatest generosity. After having 
sworn not again to take up arms against the Hungarian 
cause, they were safely escorted to their homes and set 
at liberty, with the exception of their two leaders, who 
were tried as traitors to their country. Another false 
Hungarian of high rank was also then taken, who had 
been discovered providing arms for the enemy, while he 
was in the service of Hungary ; and he was summarily 
tried and hung by the Commandant of Csepel: the judge 
who sentenced Count Eugene Zichy for treason, was 
the traitor Arthur Georgey, then an obscure Major 
in charge of a small island. Hitherto, the Magyar 
cause seemed promising, and the fall of the Austrian 
empire was predicted as an inevitable event. Such, in 
a few words, were the results of the Croatian invasion, 
which the Ban Jellachich had boasted, would enable 
his army to celebrate the Emperor's birthday at Pesth ; 
and he had even directed, when he entered Hungary, 
that all letters for himself and his officers should be 
addressed, ^oste resiante, to the capital of that kingdom. 


At the mention of Georgey's name, coupled with so 
vituperative an epithet, another of the passengers ap- 
proached us, and listened to our conversation. He was 
a tall young man, of mild and modest bearing, and he 
would have been exceedingly handsome if a deep scar, 
still red and inflamed, though healed; had not crossed 
his forehead so low that it seemed to unite his eye-brows 
which were both disfigured by it. 

'* Did you say the traitor Arthur Georgey, Mein Herr?" 
inquired he, when the other had ceased talking. 

" I did, and I repeat it I " replied the elder Magyar 

" It is not by assertion," said the young man quietly, 
" that allegations can be proved, especially in cases where 
the existence of positive evidence is almost impossible ; 
for, if Georgey was bribed, no one is likely to know it 
with any degree of certainty excepting those who bribed 
him, and they would not betray him. As you are giving 
information regarding our w^ar to a stranger,'' continued 
he, bowing to me, "it is but fair to tell him that there 
are two opinions in Hungary on the subject of Georgey's 

A violent discussion here ensued, the ex-Major accusing 
the Commander-in-Chief of the Hungarian army, and 
the young officer defendhig him ; for the latter mentioned 
in the course of his argument that he had served in one 
of the national regiments of hussars ; and the conversa- 
tion would inevitably have degenerated to an altercation 
if he had not kept his temper better than my first 
acquaintance. I tried to put an end to the scene, which 
was far from being productive of conviction on either 

VOL. I. L 


side, by asking the hussar to give me some account of 
Georgey's principal actions, which he did most willingly, 
and with an enthusiastic, though unassuming, manner. 

When the war with the Hungarians was about to be 
renewed by the Emperor, after the failure of Jellachich, 
they had had the time, through the indefatigable exertions 
of Kossuth, to raise a considerable army, formed by the 
voluntary equipment of almost all who were capable of 
bearing arms ; and further reinforcements were added by 
the desertion of Hungarian regiments serving in other 
parts of the empire, who joined the national standard at 
Pesth. The most remarkable instances of these two 
demonstrations of patriotism had been furnished by the 
provincial town of Szegedin, which sent no less than 
fourteen thousand recruits to the capital; and by the 
regiment of hussars of Prince Wilham, which left it& 
quarters in Bohemia and marched in a body to Pesth. 
An Imperial Manifesto had reached the Hungarian 
government, annulling the Constitution and appointing 
another ministry ; the Parliament had met and declared 
both acts to be illegal, and not founded on any right or 
authority vested in the Emperor. This aggression on the 
part of Austria had called forth a retaliation of a more 
positive and palpable nature. Moga had been ordered to 
march with his army to assist the Viennese in their 
struggle with the Imperial troops, and to attack Jella- 
chich wherever he could find him. Kossuth had gone 
himself, and had been received at Comorn with general 
rejoicings, such as few sovereigns inspire; the bells 
having been rung, and the streets strewn with flowers 
when he passed; he had harangued the population, and 


eight thousand volunteers had joined his army on the 
spot. At Raab, similar demonstrations had been made ; 
and he had proceeded to Vienna, more as a conqueror 
returning from battle than as a chief leading his army 
to meet the enemy. But when he encountered Jella- 
chich at Schwechat, he found a hostile force twice as 
numerous as his own, with artillery three times as 
strong. He had been defeated, and obliged to return 
crest-fallen to Pesth, 

The rupture between the Emperor and his kingdom 
of Hungary had then become irreconcilable, and the 
existence of their relations as sovereign and subjects 
could thenceforth be continued only by the subjugation 
of the latter. This had been fully understood, and 
decreed as a necessary alternative ; a vast plan of simul- 
taneous attack on several different points had been laid 
down; and a large force had been prepared for the 
general invasion of the country. Prince Windischgratz, 
the Commander-in-Chief, had opened the campaign by 
assaihng the villages of Carlsdorf and Neudorf; the 
four field-marshals, Simunich, Schlick, Puchner, and 
Nugent, had marched on Tyrnau, Eperies, Arad, and 
Lower Hungary, while Suplikacs, the Voivode of Austrian 
Serbia, had occupied the country near the confluence of 
the rivers Danube and Theiss. The Hungarians under 
Georgey had not ventured to give battle, but had re- 
treated in good order, carrying with them or destroying 
the provisions to be found on their way. The Emperor, 
in the meantime, had abdicated his throne, and his 
nephew had ascended it. The Hungarians had declared 
that the latter was not their lawful sovereign, and had 

L 2 



protested against his assuming the title of King of 
Hungary, which they quaUfied as a usurpation, because 
they had refused to concur in his elevation to their 
throne, as had always been considered indispensable 
by his predecessors. The country was, therefore, with- 
out a sovereign, and the government had remained 
exclusively in the hands of Kossuth. 

The Hungarian army was a hundred thousand strong; 
but, as a great part of it was engaged in repressing the 
dissensions among the Serbians and other Sclavonian 
tribes of Hungary, not more than fifty-five thousand 
men had been able to meet the Austrian force, which 
amounted to a hundred and twenty thousand. Un- 
equal to cope with their advantages over them in action, 
the Hungarians had retired by degrees, abandoning even 
their capital, having transferred the seat of government 
to Debreczin. 

It is evident that the Austrians then committed two 
great faults, which deprived them of the fruits of their 
success: Prince Windischgratz hesitated to risk his 
army on the other side of the Theiss, at a time when 
a prompt advance might have quelled the insurrection 
for ever : and he did not invalidate the paper currency 
of Kossuth, by which means he might have annihilated 
the only pecuniary resources available by the Hungarians 
for carrying on the war. The effects of these errors 
was, that when hostilities were renewed, the insurgents 
brought a more numerous and better equipped army 
into the field than the emperor's troops could cope 

Perczel had, therefore, turned the position of Ottinger, 


who was obliged to retire ; Georgey, having marched on 
Waitzen, had boldly attacked the enemy in the rear ; the 
celebrated Polish general Dembinski, had defeated Schlick 
near Tokay ; and finally, Georgey and Dembinski, having 
efiected the jmiction of their divisions, amounting to 
50,000 men, with 150 pieces of artillery, had crossed the 
Theiss and marched on Pesth. Windischgratz, resolved 
on engaging a pitched battle, in the hope of thus being 
able to strike a decisive blow, had forced the Hungarians, 
after four days' hard fighting, to return to the left bank 
of the river; but their loss had not been great, and their 
ranks had remained unbroken ; for the Austrians, by an 
unaccountable blunder, had not molested their passage, 
when they might have put an end to the war by another 
attack. The Hungarians had then laid siege to Arad. 
Klapka, having united his 20,000 men to the 50,000 
already under the orders of Georgey, and having brought 
fifty more guns with him, they had made a double move- 
ment in advance. Schlick had been again driven back at 
Slatwan ; Windischgratz had supported him by another 
division ; and Jellachich had been ordered to concentrate 
his force. A council of war was held at Aszod. Five 
months had passed, and the insurgents were more enter- 
prising than ever. The Cabinet at Vienna had become 
alarmed. General de Welden had been sent to supersede 
Prince Windischgratz, with reinforcements under the 
command of General Wohlgemuth, the latter having just 
^returned from Italy with a high military renown. Such 
was the position of aff'airs when that series of brilliant 
exploits commenced, which immediately placed Georgey 
in the rank of the first captains of the age, and which 


were so glowingly described to me by the young officer 
of Hussars in the steamer. 

The hero of the Italian campaign was soon defeated ; 
Georgey moved his army with a degree of activity quite 
surprising, and triumphantly raised the blockade of 
Comorn from the Danube to the Waag; and after rein- 
forcing its garrison, he opened the communications 
between the different divisions of the national army. 
General Guyon, an Irish gentleman settled in Hungary, 
next successfully attacked the enemy in another direction. 
Welden, perceiving the dangerous position of the Austrian 
forces, evacuated Pesth, leaving only three battalions in 
the fortress of Ofen, and concentrated the main body of 
his troops for the defence of Presburg and Eszeck. 
Jellachich attempted to cover his retreat with his whole 
division ; but Georgey was on the alert ; he crossed to 
the right bank of the river, and fell upon the corps of 
Field-marshal Simunich. This skilful manoeuvre would 
have resulted in the total defeat of the Austrian army, 
if it had not been met by a counter-movement, equally 
prompt and gallant, on the part of Schlick, who thus 
saved his fellow-countrymen from utter destruction, 
although they were obliged to retreat in disorder ; and 
they were soon driven back to the same point where 
Windischgratz had so lately entered Hungary. 

It was in that action, between the troops of Georgey 
and Simunich, that the young Magyar had received the 
sabre-cut which furrowed his brows so deeply. He was* 
attacked by two cuirassiers, who had turned to face him 
in the pursuit on perceiving that the speed of his horse 
had exposed him alone in front of his squadron ; one of 


the Germans rushed upon him, and the weight of his 
horse, in the shock, threw that of the Magyar on his 
haunches ; the other seized his fur cap from behind with 
one hand, while he dealt him a fearful blow on the head 
with the other ; the chin-strap broke, and laid his forehead 
bare as the heavy sabre fell ; he was blinded by the blood 
gushing from the wound, and, receiving another blow 
from the butt-end of a pistol, he rolled from his horse in- 
sensible to the ground. He had not lost his conscious- 
ness sufficiently, however, not to be aware that his 
hussars had charged over him in their impetuous fury ; 
but, as often happens by a strange coincidence, or by the 
instinct of the horses, not a hoof had touched him, and 
he was afterwards picked up and conveyed to the hospital 
by the sutler's wife, who was following her regiment in 
a covered cart. 

It may be asked how a powerful and regularly disci- 
plined army should thus have succumbed before a force 
chiefly composed of volunteers. First, there was the 
active stimulus of patriotic enthusiasm on the side of 
the Hungarians, who are by nature a brave and warlike 
people; and next, their generals were more able and 
energetic than those of Austria ; and they were, above 
all, more confident, for in strategy, as in diplomacy, 
assurance is the principal element of success. But the 
immediate cause of failure on the part of the Emperor's 
troops was, that more than half of their disposable force 
was divided in weak columns, which, acting indepen- 
dently of each other, and in diverging directions, always 
left to the Hungarians the advantage of keeping an 
internal line, and of thus being able to attack them 



individually with superior numbers, and to prevent their 
junction at will. If their left wing, instead of being 
formed of three detached corps under Schlick, Simunich, 
and Gotz, had been united in one great column at the 
time when Pesth was occupied, it might have taken up 
a strong position on the road from Waitzen to Rima 
Szambath, and Georgey would not then have risked his 
bold movement towards the north, which placed Schlick's 
division in such imminent peril, paralysed his operations, 
and cut off the communications of the army. Windisch- 
gratz in that case would have had a reinforcement of 
18,000 men to support him at the most critical moment^ 
which might have turned the fortunes of the whole 
campaign. General Nugent, on the other hand, might 
have marched rapidly on the Danube, and, by crossing 
it, have united his corps to those of Thodorovich and 
Leiningen, forming thus an army of nearly 30,000 men 
on the lower part of the Theiss, which would have checked 
the advance of the Hungarians. The same mistake was 
committed there, and a simular result was produced, 
which contributed essentially towards the success of the 
insurgents, who ably took advantage of the defective 
plan of the campaign. The establishment of a line of 
defensive operations behind a river, which describes a 
long segment of a circle from Tokay to Szegedin, giving 
to the enemy on the left bank the faculty of moving on 
a smaller circumference, and of suddenly bringing their 
forces to bear on any given point of it, was so contrary 
to the first principles of strategy, that one cannot help 
wondering at the inefficiency displayed by the Austrian 
generals; and a cursory glance at a map of Hungary 


will suffice to explain the fact of their having committed 
the most glaring errors, even to those who are altogether 
uninitiated in that science, although they may not have 
had the advantage of hearing the subject discussed, as 
I did, by officers who had borne a part in the war. It is 
true that the just appreciation of measures is amazingly 
assisted by the knowledge of their results, and it is easy 
to detect faults when their disastrous consequences have 
taken place ; but still, in this case the mismanagement 
of the campaign by the Austrians was too flagrant to 
escape the criticism even of the least conversant in 
military matters, or of the most indulgent. 

I was so much interested in the discussion on the 
subject of the Hungarian war, which was afterwards 
joined in by a very intelligent lawyer of Pesth, an ardent 
admirer of Kossuth, and by two gentlemen who had 
been members of the national house of. representatives, 
that I requested the young hussar to assist me in noting 
down the tenor of what had been said with regard to 
the causes of its well-known ultimate issue, for it would 
have been impossible to recollect all the details that I had 
heard, and I was anxious not to lose any of them. We, 
therefore, sat for an hour or two in a corner of the cabin, 
recapitulating the incidents and reflections which had 
been passed in review, with reference both to the cam- 
paign against the Austrians alone, and to that which was 
fought principally with the Russians, while I committed 
them to my memorandum book. 

The catastrophe, w^hich closed the first period of the 
war, had completely altered the aspect of affairs. The 
insurrection had extended to such a degree in Hungary, 


that the very existence of the Austrian empire was in- 
volved in its suppression; but it had also spread so 
widely through the other provinces of Austria, that suc- 
cessful opposition to it had become almost impossible, 
with the unassisted resources of the Imperial government. 

The Austrian army, fatigued by a harassing campaign 
in the depth of winter, and discouraged by repeated 
discomfiture, was scattered in a broken line of battle, 
incapable of meeting the enemy in a body ; while the 
Hungarians, full of courage and confidence, occupied a 
series of strong positions, supported on the western 
frontier of the country by the important fortress of 
Comorn, and covered towards the south by that of 
Peterwardein, both of them serving as pivots for their 
operations, with the Carpathian chain of mountains 
forming a strong natural defence of the northern bounda- 
ries of Hungary, A force of 190,000 men, with 800 
pieces of cannon, well mounted and equipped, was rnore 
than Austria was able to compete with alone ; especially 
such men as the Magyars had proved themselves to be, 
and officered by generals so consummate in valour and 
skill as Georgey, Dembinski, Bern, Messaros, Perczel, 
and Guy on. 

Kossuth meanwhile had drawn in almost all the money 
in Hungary, and substituted a circulation of bank notes, 
which gave him the command of an unlimited sum, 
backed by twenty millions of florins in specie ; and his 
resources were thus such as to preclude all hope of seeing 
his government become embarrassed in its financial 
arrangements ; while his personal popularity ensured the 
Continuation of his system, in spite of every attempt to 


raise dissension among his followers, and of every 
intrigue to embroil the members of his administration. 
Hungary was, therefore, irrecoverably lost to the Empe- 
ror as far as any exertions of his own could avail him ; 
for the House of Hapsburgh had been formally declared 
to have fallen from the throne of that kingdom, which was 
proclaimed an independent republic, under the presidency 
of Kossuth ; and this was the great error of his career, 
for democracy is essentially uncongenial to Hungary. 

The Sclavonian population of Croatia, Sclavonia, the 
Banat, Bohemia, Moravia, Illyria, and Dalmatia, was 
beginning to waver ; the Italian states of the empire were 
subjugated, it is true, but not pacified ; and the German 
democratical party was rapidly becoming more and more 
formidable. The possibility of a recommencement of 
hostilities with the King of Sardinia, — for their accounts 
were not yet definitely settled, or the necessity of an 
intervention in the affairs of Rome and Tuscany, where 
all was not yet quiet, and the continued resistance of 
Venice, which must be overcome with a strong hand, — 
were so many storms arising on different points of the 
southern horizon; while the political situation of Ger- 
many was such as to render a call on Austria for military 
aid far from being improbable on the part of the smaller 
States. Austria trembled to her very foundations, and 
any new incident might have caused the whole empire 
to totter to the ground. 

Formerly in critical moments, even when Austria was 
engaged in war with one of the greatest and most war- 
like nations of Europe, led against her by the first 
captain of the age, she had proved her military resources 


to be well-nigh inexhaustible ; but then the whole em- 
pire was united ; whereas, on the present occasion, the 
Emperor could trust to his small hereditary States alone ; 
and it was with the utmost difficulty that the army op- 
posed to the Hungarians could be raised to the number 
of sixty-two weak battalions, representing scarcely forty 
thousand combatants. 

A friendly hand was extended te save the falling 
empire. Whether it were with interested views or not, 
whether the hope of obtaining possession of the port of 
Cattaro had served as a bait, and whether any secret 
advantage was stipulated in recompense of assistance, or 
whether the mere fellow-feeling of all absolute govern- 
ments prompted the arrangement, the fact of Russia 
having come forward to draw Austria out of. the quag- 
mire into which she was so rapidly sinking, was of itself 
an event pregnant with great results, and a theme of 
deep interest for political speculators. When the prece- 
dent is once established that disputes between the Ger- 
man princes and their subjects may be settled by the 
intervention of Russia, it will be an easy step in advance 
for the latter power to consolidate the monarchical prin- 
ciple in France through the same means, in the person 
of a Buonaparte or a Bourbon — to the wily autocrat it 
matters little which. The liberties of the western states 
of Europe will then be exposed to the attacks of Russian 
aggression, which were first facilitated in Germany by 
the dismemberment of Poland, and which will now reach 
further, through the acceptance of Russian aid by Ger- 
many. A new career was opened to the ambition of 
the Czar, when Europe became convulsed by insurrec- 


tionary movements, and he was prepared to enter on it. 
Towards the west and towards the south the barriers 
which had previously checked his progress being suc- 
cessively levelled before him ; both Germany and Turkey 
were menaced in their most vulnerable points by the 
interposition of Russia between Austria and Hungary, 
The Magyars could not have served their enemies abroad 
better than by attacking those at home ; and the Czar 
saw in their patriotic war another confirmation of his 
dream, that St. Petersburg will one day play the part of 
ancient Rome. He reads the vituperative harangues of 
demagogues, and the torrents of abuse lavished on him 
by the very individuals who are playing his cards for 
him more effectually than any exertions of his own, and 
who are doing their utmost to insure the game to him by 
reducing their country to that state which can best favour 
his designs. In how many states of Europe have deluded 
mobs been misled by political enthusiasts and votaries of 
ambition, who succeed in . pulling to pieces what they 
have no power of re- organizing, and who plunge them 
into ultra- democracy only to see them afterwards brought 
by a military dictatorship to a less free condition than 
they had been in under the legitimate rule which they 
had overthrown ! ^sop was right in his fable of King 
Log and King Stork. History has proved it in JuKus 
Caesar, in Oliver Cromwell, in Napoleon Buonaparte, in 
Radetzky, in Filangieri, and in Haynau. If Hungary has 
not yet arrived at the full realization of that destiny, it is 
because she is right in one great point, — that of claimr 
ing an independent and national administration ; though 


wrong in having degenerated from the purity of her 
ancient constitutional principles to the corrupt chimeras 
of republicanism. 

When her fate was still in suspense, and every one 
was looking anxiously round for the appearance of a 
combination which would precipitate matters on one 
side or the other, two proclamations of similar tenor 
were suddenly published : the first signed by the 
Emperor Francis Joseph, and the second by the Emperor 
Nicholas ; they announced the speedy approach of a 
Russian army. The young Kaiser immediately repaired 
to his camp; and the drooping spirits of his soldiers 
w^ere revived. 

The Hungarians should have followed up their success, 
and pursued the Austrians even to the walls of Vienna. 
Had they done so, the doom of the Empire would pro- 
bably then have been sealed for ever; and the Czar, 
who was attentively watching their progress, would, in 
all likelihood, have abandoned a project of immediate 
opposition to a triumphant cause. It was not the fault 
of Kossuth, however, that the Austrians were allowed to 
recover from their late reverses, and to obtain the 
support of Russia, for he actually issued the order to 
Georgey to continue the pursuit. The Commander-in- 
Chief disobeyed it, alleging that it would be time enough 
to do so, when the capital of Hungary should be purged 
from the presence of the enemy ; and Kossuth did not 
think fit to punish his insubordination, as that could 
only be done by a court-martial, and a consequent 
sentence of death, which he feared might produce an 


effect on Georgey's army, injurious to the cause. Thus 
commenced the dissensions of the two leaders, poKtical 
and mihtary. 

The Magyars, therefore, laid siege to open the citadel 
of Pesth, where a small garrison of Austrian s had been 
left. The commandant. General Sleutzi, bombarded 
the town, in the hope of diverting the attack from the 
fortress. But it was successfully stormed ; Sleutzi was 
mortally wounded, and Colonel Alnoch, his second in 
command, after a desperate defence, blew himself up by 
firing the powder magazine. The carnage then became 
fearful; but, in fact, it was principally owing to the 
bombardment of the town, whose peaceful inhabitants 
had suffered severely, and the Honveds retaliated on 
the garrison when it was vanquished, with the exception 
of the Italian regiment of Ceccopieri, which was well 
treated in consequence of their having shot their colonel 
when he ordered them to fire on the Hungarians, and of 
their having then aided the storming party to scale the 
walls by throwing them ropes fastened to the parapet. 
Sleutzi was still alive, and he would have been torn to 
pieces if Georgey himself had not ordered his men to 
respect, in the fallen general, fidelity to his master and 
personal gallantry. 

It was curious to observe how completely the better 
judgment of my informants was warped by their enthu- 
siasm in the cause of their country, and by their ani- 
mosity against the Austrians ; the cowardly act of the 
Italians in kiUing their colonel, and their treachery in 
assisting the Magyars to enter a fort which they had 
engaged to defend, were extolled as chivalrous feats; 


while the protection afforded by Georgey to the dying 
Sleutzi, was adduced by all, but the young hussar, as a 
proof of his being a traitor in the pay of Austria. He 
may or may not have been one in his subsequent 
surrender, but on this occasion his conduct was certainly 
consistent with the customs of honourable warfare; and 
whatever might have been the wrongs suffered by the 
Lombardo- Venetians at the hands of their German 
sovereign, no dispassionate critic can justify their betray- 
ing the trust he had reposed in them at the only hour 
their disaffection could injure him, when they had made 
no display of it during the siege. 

On the reduction of Ofen, thirty thousand men were 
free to march against Presburgh. The Austrian army, 
being then obliged to form line on both banks of the 
Danube, would inevitably have been destroyed, and 
Kossuth's plan would thus have proved successful, it it 
had not been forestalled ; but Georgey's disobedience 
had given time to the auxihary troops to advance in 
support of the Austrians ; and sixteen battalions of 
Russians had now arrived by the railway. They were 
commanded by General Paniutin, and they brought with 
them forty-eight pieces of artillery. They took up their 
position at Headish, on the western slope of the Carpa- 
thian mountains, close to the frontiers of Hungary. 
General Haynau had succeeded to Baron Welden in the 
command of the Austrian army. Pield-Marshal Prince 
Paskiewitsch was appointed to the supreme command of 
the Russian troops who were descending from Gallicia, 
the Czar himself having come to Dukla on the frontier ; 
and General Liiders was the chief of a division entering 


Transylvania from Wallachia, while General Grabbe was 
directed to move with another corps in the valley of the 
Waag and on the plateau of Schenmitz for the purpose 
of uniting the operations of the principal armies. The 
Ban Jellachich, meanwhile, was re-organizing his forces 
at Eszeck ; and a combination of attack was thus arranged 
which would have overthrown a more powerful State 
than Hungary. 

The campaign commenced by an engagement near 
the camp at Kacs, between the Croatians and the Hun- 
garian corps of Perczel, in which the latter was defeated. 
Jellachich next stormed the fortified town of Neusatz. 
The Magyars, however, beat the Austrian corps of Gen- 
eral Weyss at Marczalts and Ezged, where that officer 
was mortally wounded, and several partial actions were 
fought with varying success, until a general pitched bat- 
tle took place between Perel and Deaky. The honours 
of the day belonged to the Russian General Paniutin, 
but Georgey was enabled to effect his retreat on the left 
bank of the Waag in good order. In the north of Hun- 
gary, Dembinski, who had only twenty thousand men, 
was obliged to retire without venturing to oppose the 
advance of the three formidable columns of Russians, 
each consisting of sixteen battalions of infantry and two 
brigades of cavalry, besides artillery and a strong corps 
of reserve, under the command of Paskievitsch, accom- 
panied by the son of the Czar, the young Grand Duke 

At Debrad the insurgents were successfully attacked 
by General Sass. But the Austrian garrison of Arad was 
forced to capitulate, and Jellachich was defeated by the 

VOL. I. M 


Hungarians in the defile of Hegyes. Klapka was driven 
out of Raab by the young Emperor of Austria in person, 
with his Russian patrons, and Georgey was obhged to 
retire on Waitzen, suffering much from the frequent 
attacks of the enemy. After a sanguinary skirmish in 
that .town, Georgey continued his retreat pursued by 
Hght troops under General Sass, while the main army of 
the allies was formed in echelon on the principal road 
from Pesth to Miskolcz. 

The Russian Commander-in-Chief thus prudently 
renounced his chance of putting an end to the war by 
overtaking the Hungarians and forcing them to engage, 
in favour of the slower but more secure process of oblig- 
ing them to fly in eccentric lines, which prevented their 
being able to reunite, and of then crushing them piece- 
meal with his whole force. This was skilfully devised 
and ably executed. Georgey was retiring on Tokay, 
Perczel on Sznolnok, and Dembinski on Szegedin. 

The redoubted Hussars were at last beaten in an action 
with the Russians, under Count Tolsta-z, and the Hun- 
garians began to lose their confidence in themselves. 
The retreat became a flight. The right wing of the 
combined armies was soon completely disengaged, and 
his object being thus obtained, the Russian Field-Marshal 
rapidly shifted his front and took up a central position, 
which commanded the difierent Hungarian divisions. 
He then commenced his attack by sending a strong 
body to force the passage of the Theiss ; a bridge was 
constructed under a close fire of the insurgents, who, not 
having been able to stop its progress, tried to burn it ; and, 
in the meantime, the Russians crossed during the night 


in boats and on pontoons. In the morning a brisk 
engagement took place, but the Magyars were out- 
numbered and borne down. 

After this skilful manoeuvre, Paskievitsch proceeded to 
envelope Georgey in his vast masses of soldiers, and the 
Hungarian could only avert his fate by altering his 
direction, and moving by forced marches on Debreczin. 
Tokay was then taken without resistance. Nagy Sandor 
commanded 18,000 men and forty guns at Debreczin, 
which the Russian advanced guard reached before the 
entire of Georgey's army; and the Hungarian General 
determined to give battle, but the formidable artillery of 
the enemy drove him off the field, and 6,000 prisoners 
were taken, besides six guns, and a standard. A Te 
Deum Laudamm for the victories of the Emperor of 
Austria was sung in the very church, at the door of 
which, only four months previously, he had been pro- 
claimed for ever fallen from the throne of Hungary. 

By the occupation of Debreczin the Russian army, 
having obtained possession of the strongest line of opera- 
tions, was in the heart of Hungary, commanding the 
roads leading to the fortresses of Arad and Gross war dein, 
holding the key to Transylvania, and master of the 
Theiss, which supplied the means of making decisive 
movements. Paskievitsch was not long in turning his 
position to account. Having learnt that the Austrian 
army had also crossed the Theiss and had occupied 
Szegedin, with the intention of marching on Temesvar 
and Arad, and perceiving that Georgey, after his defeat 
at Debreczin, was also moving in the direction of Arad, 
the Russian Commander-in-Chief sent a division to 

M 2 


occupy Grosswardein, seven regiments of cavalry to 
pursue the principal Hungarian army, and a second 
advanced guard to open the communications with the 
Austrians on the road to Arad. These important move- 
ments produced decisive results. 

Haynau, being aware that the Russians were keeping 
Georgey and his forty thousand men completely in check, 
and having his left flank well covered by his allies, 
resolved on marching southwards, and on raising the 
blockade of Temeswar. His troops suffered so much on 
their line of march across the sandy plains under a 
scorching summer sun, and without good water, that 
he was obliged to halt them at Eelegyhaza, Czegled, and 
Melykut. Dembinski, who was still retreating towards 
Szegedin, now felt the necessity of concentrating all the 
Hungarian troops that could be brought to bear on the 
passage of the Theiss, and he therefore ordered Guyon, 
who was operating against Jellachich, to quit his posi- 
tion and repair to Szegedin. Although he had failed 
in an attempt to force the passage of the Danube at 
Massorin and Villova, where the Serbian chief, Knits- 
hianin, had successfully opposed him, Guyon might still 
have harassed the army of the south with great effect, 
if the movements of Haynau had not required his pre- 
sence elsewhere ; but, however advantageous this might 
have been, it could not be persisted in. His march on 
Szegedin opened the communications between Jellachich 
and Haynau ; and the latter having now^ also his right 
wing covered, prepared to strike a great blow. He 
advanced on Szegedin, but the Hungarians did not wait 
there for him, and he occupied that town, unresisted. 


They seemed disposed, however, to dispute the passage 
of the Theiss, and Haynau determined to force it. 

While a furious artillery engagement was going on 
across the river, two battalions of Austrians succeeded 
in gaining the left bank at a higher point, and attacked 
the Hungarian flank, forcing them to make a retrograde 
movement, which was taken advantage of to establish a 
bridge. The Austrians passed over and drove their 
enemies before them, although they fought desperately 
as they retreated. They rallied at a strong position on 
the embankments, raised at some distance to prevent 
the inundations of the river from covering the plain, and 
there Dembinski, Messaros, Guyon, and Desewfy, made 
a gallant stand with 30,000 men and 50 guns. Haynau 
advanced with Panintin and his Russians to attack 
them ; while several brigades of Austrians and Russians 
charged their front; the artillery had formed in a 
battery parallel to their entrenchments, opening a tre- 
mendous fire, and the cavalry outflanked their left wing. 
No troops could hold out long against so overwhelming an 
assault, and the Magyars were obliged to abandon their 
position, leaving both prisoners and guns behind them. 

Thus defeated in front, and perceiving that both their 
flanks were also threatened by the echelon movements 
of two lateral columns, the Hungarians could do nothing 
but retreat precipitately on Temeswar; and it was 
indeed astonishing that they had not already laid down 
their arms ; but they fought to the last. They formed their 
line of battle under the walls of that town and behind 
a small stream, with a reinforcement which had been 
brought to them in the corps of Vetter, and having gained 


the assistance of the gallant Bern, who arrived from Tran- 
sylvania, and proceeded at once to the field of battle, where 
he took the command. As soon as the allies appeared, 
a quick and well supported fire was opened on them by 
the Hungarian artillery; Bem led out his cavalry in 
person, and manoeuvred to outflank the enemy, charging 
vigorously when he could with advantage : the left wing 
of the Austrians was thus in considerable danger, until 
the Austrian artillery came to their support by rapidly 
deploying and forcing back the Hungarians ; a general 
attack was made before they had recovered from the 
effects of this first reverse. Prince Leihtenstein was 
attracted by the firing, and came up with his Austrians 
on the extreme right of the Magyars, who were thus 
completely overpowered ; and they abandoned their posi- 
tion, leaving Temeswar in the hands of the enemy. 
Paskievitsch then approached with the great Russian 
army, and General Liiders advanced with his troops 
from Transylvania, where he had defeated Bem : 
the allies thus closing on all sides, surrounded the 
devoted bands of Magyars, who became discouraged 
by such constant defeats, and marched with hesitation 
in different directions; Georgey endeavouring to seek 
shelter under the ramparts of Arad ; Bem and Dem- 
binski hurrying towards the Turkish frontier, where they 
hoped to save the wreck of their army. 

While the war seemed to be thus fast drawing to a 
close, and all hope was almost lost on the part of the 
Hungarians, a sudden change took place in the aspect 
of affairs : the fortress of Comorn still resisted, with 
30,000 men under the celebrated Klapka, a double 


siege from both banks of the Danube. He took an able 
advantage of the possession of the bridge crossing that 
river and the Waag, and made a feint against the army 
on the right bank, and immediately brought his whole 
force to bear on the left, where he completely defeated 
his enemy ; and then he made a tremendous sally during 
the night on the right bank, where he also beat the 
Austrians. He followed up his success, and pursued 
them with 8,000 men, besides 8 squadrons of cavalry 
and 24 pieces of artillery, manoeuvring so skilfully that 
he repeatedly assailed their flanks. The Austrians suc- 
ceeded in gaining a bridge and crossed to the left bank, 
where the pursuit was continued with equal success. 
Klapka occupied the town of Raab, took 30 pieces of 
cannon, and got possession of the depots of provision 
and ammunition. 

These brilliant achievements reanimated the courage of 
the Hungarians for a time ; but they were fated to be- 
come the victims of treachery at the very time when 
their falling fortunes seemed likely to be retrieved. The 
civil government having been obliged to move from 
Pesth to Szegedin, and thence to Arad, had lost its 
promptness of information and vigour of action; the 
want of time to estabhsh the presses for the printing 
of bank-notes crippled their pecuniary resources: the 
jealousy which Georgey felt for Kossuth, prompted him 
to take advantage of the weakness of the latter, in order 
to emancipate himself from the influence and ascendancy 
which he had exercised in the country, and the orders of 
the government were no longer obeyed by the army. 

Kossuth wished to make the strong fortress of Arad 


the pivot of future military operations, and tlie centre of 
action for the government. liad he been hstened to, he 
would certainly have protracted the struggle, to which the 
successes of Klapka had given a favourable turn, and if 
he could not hope ultimately to defeat the overwhelming 
force opposed to him, it is probable that the sufferings 
and heroism of the Hungarians would have at last ob- 
tained for them the active sympathy of other nations ; 
but it was otherwise ordained, and his plans were rejected. 
Seeing that his power was gone, and that he could no 
longer efficiently serve his country, he suppressed all per- 
sonal feeling, and deeming it to be his duty to con- 
centrate the authority in the only individual who could 
now wield it with effect, he had Georgey appointed 
Dictator ; for, whatever reason he might have had for 
distrusting him, he attributed the conduct of that officer, 
whom he had himself raised from obscurity, to an im- 
patience of control, and he never for a moment suspected 
him of being capable of treachery. 

Georgey accepted the Dictatorship, and surrendered 
to the Russians unconditionally ; at least without making 
any ostensible conditions. Thirty thousand men laid 
down their arms, with 144 pieces of cannon and 8,000 
horses. Georgey summoned the other Hungarian chiefs 
to surrender at discretion. They all did so, excepting 
Bem, Guyon, and Klapka. The two former attempted 
still to resist ; but, on the approach of the Russian army 
of General Liiders, their soldiers refused to fight, and they 
were obliged to take to flight, by crossing the Turkish 
frontier with Kossuth. Terms were then offered to 
Klapka, who held Comorn, and he made an advantageous 


capitulation. Such was the end of the war, but not of 
the tragedy ; Ilaynau soon appeared in another light ; — 
executions, and the most unheard-of cruelties commenced; 
and of the Magyar chiefs who had not become voluntary 
exiles, only one man remained unscathed ; — that man 
was Arthur Georgey, who is now living in a town in 
Austria, on a pension from the Emperor ! 

A campaign of only six weeks had thus sufficed to 
undo the work of two years : it was conducted by two 
chiefs independent of each other, and acting on totally 
different principles. The Russian General endeavoured 
to crush his enemy without much bloodshed, by the 
great masses which he moved in such overwhelming 
numbers that the Hungarians could not risk a battle; 
and the Austrian Commander, keen to wash out the 
stains on the tarnished fame of his army, sought every 
means of inducing the insurgents to meet him on the 
field. The success of this double system of strategy was 
finally insured by the skilful concentration of his forces 
on one point at a decisive moment by Prince Paskie- 
vitsch, while Baron Haynau then for the first time also 
joined him; 150,000 Russians and 50,000 Austrians thus 
faced the detached bodies of 20,000 and upwards, which 
the Hungarians could never unite, partly from false 
manoeuvres, but principally on account of the misunder- 
standings which had arisen among their leaders, prevent- 
ing their whole force of about 100,000 fighting men 
from making together a last stand for their country. 




A NUMBER of large vessels were floating down the Danube 
when I returned to the deck of the steamer after fill- 
ing my note-book with the particulars of the late Hunga- 
rian war. These great river-boats had an enormous oar 
at either end, which acted as a rudder, according as the 
stem or the stern happened to be in front, each of them 
being worked by four men ; and we could not help re- 
marking how simple it would be to have steam tugs to 
drag a long line of these barges down, and especially up 
the stream, whose banks do not admit of towing by 
horses, and their return is therefore dependent on a fair 

We passed the marshy shores of Paucsova in the 
Banat, and the lovely Serbian village of Grozka, near 
which the Austrian army of Wall is was defeated by the 
Turks in the year 1739 : it is perched on the green hills 
which rise abruptly from the right bank of the river, 
and a forest of crosses appeared in its picturesque 
cemetery, which crowns the summit of a conical height 
behind it, and gives the lie to the idle tale of religious 


intolerance in tlie Ottoman Empire; for the privileges 
conferred on the Serbian province, as well as on every 
other, expressly secured to the Sultan's Christian sub- 
jects there, the free observance of all the sacred rites of 
their persuasion. A great extent of vineyards, mingled 
with fruit-trees, covered those hills, offering a contrast 
which is but little advantageous to the low and bare 
country on the Hungarian side ; and houses nestling in 
the ravines, show that the population is more agricul- 
tural than in the Banat, where the inhabitants seem to 
live only in towns and villages. A small mosque forms 
a pretty object among the trees, and as it might be 
called a ruin, it is evident that the Turks are prudently 
leaving the Serbs to their own devices, after having 
granted them the boon of self-administration. 

We soon reached the town and fortress of Semendra, 
built in 1433 by the Serbian Prince, George Brancovitz, 
with its tall square towers along the straight castellated 
walls, and the few small old houses of its inmates 
crouching under it, as if afraid to leave its protecting 
vicinity. But all this was a remnant of other centuries, 
and the more recent constructions were scattered over 
the neighbouring country, which seemed to enjoy peace 
and security under the present policy of Turkey. 

The steamer stopped for a few minutes opposite the 
inland town of Kubin in Hungary, and as some of the 
passengers landed there, we were much amused to see 
their luggage disembarked by sailors in hussar jackets 
and Hessian boots. 

We continued steaming down the river during a long 
summer day, and although the shores of the Danube 


between Semlin and Orsova are reputed to be more 
picturesque than at any other part of its course, we saw 
nothing as yet which could be compared to the banks of 
the Save, for richness and variety of scenery. The great 
breadth of the Danube also contributed to deprive it of 
its claims to beauty, as we were generally too distant 
from the shores to see them to advantage. We passed 
Uj Palanka with its fortified island, connected by a long 
bridge, and the opposite Serbian Castle of Rama, near 
the ruins of a Roman fort ; and we entered the narrow 
passage of the river between the steep and lofty moun- 
tains below Dreucova, with a strong breeze against us, 
and waves astonishingly high : the spray broke frequently 
over the bows of the steamer, and the deportment of 
several passengers became symptomatic of river sickness : 
the ships, however, wdiich were going in the opposite 
direction, seemed to turn the wind to the best account, 
with their large lateen sails propelling them against the 
stream, and rolling from side to side with the swell. 

Next came Moldawa, then the Serbian castle Colum- 
batz, built by the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa, 
its grey towers rising from a rock washed by the river, 
and standing out from the green wooded mountains 
close behind it. 

We saw all the wonders of the Kazan, or cauldron, 
in Turkish, so often painted in glowing colours by 
adventurous and admiring travellers. The boihng and 
bubbling of the river, and the toiling and troubling of 
the steamer; the precipices on either side, seven hundred 
feet in height ; and the MuckenhoMe, or Cavern of the 
Gnats, about which so many marvels are related. We 

ROMAN 110 AD. 173 

listened with fitting awe to the tale of the dragon's car- 
case having been left there by George, the patrician of 
ancient Home, who became, by some inexplicable process, 
the patron Saint of England; — how the gnats proceed 
from the remains of the defunct monster, and annually 
rush from the grotto to devour man and beast ; and how 
the entrance to the cave was once built up to imprison 
them within it, and neither brick nor mortar could with- 
stand the fury of their assault, but were soon reduced 
to powder by the storming party of the gnats.* We 
gazed with respect at the celebrated General Veterani's 
cavern, w^here he withstood a siege of three months with 
700 men, in the vear 1692. We counted the chiselled 
resting points for the beams that supported the Roman 
road along the perpendicular flanks of the gigantic cliff, 
in which it was scooped out; and we looked through 
our telescope at the Latin inscription, commemorating 
the Emperor Trajan's first campaign in Dacia, in the 
year of our Lord 103; and, although we distinguished 
nothing but two dolphins with their tails festooned 
in a love-knot, round the Roman eagle, w^e firmly 
believed that it ran thus, as we were assured : — 

' "imp . C^S . D . NERV^ . EILIUS . NERVA . TEAJANUS . 

At length we had passed that immense range of hills 
which commences in Poland under the name of Carpa- 
thians, and which ends in Turkey at the Balkans, after 
describing the figure of an immense S, here broken 

* All this being so undeniably true, that a volume was published on the 
subject at Vienna in 1795, by one Schonboner. 

174 ORSOVA. 

through by the Danube ; and we arrived at the small 
town of Orsova, the last of the Austrian stations on 
the river. 

We were required to give up our passports on step- 
ping from the steamer on board a wooden gangway 
uniting it with the shore; but at the other end a 
soldier barred our further progress, uttering the words, 
" Stassoti ! " We obeyed his peremptory gesticulations 
rather than his verbal order, which we did not 
understand any more than he did our request for an 
explanation of this energetic proceeding, in all the 
foreign languages, living and dead, of which we could 
muster a few words. An Italian followed us, and was 
summarily stopped by the same '' Stassoti'' and bayonet^ 
which had obstructed our passage : a German came next, 
and then a Polish Jew ; but none of them could make 
any more of either impediment than we had done. At 
last, the ninety passengers were collected under a 
burning sun on the gangway, at the imminent risk of 
its giving way and precipitating us all into the river, 
or of each receiving a coup de soleil. Some of them, 
however, understood the dialect spoken by the soldier, 
which was Rouman, or Wallachian, as he belonged to 
the 1st Austrian, Wallachian, lUyrian, Erontier regiment, 
and they explained to us that a standing order prohibited 
the landing of passengers, one by one, but did not 
prevent their disembarking in a body. The " open 
sesame '* was then pronounced, and we all got safely on 
shore, after having been submitted to the process of 
bleaching, which produced an effect on our faces diame- 
trically contrary to that which is undergone by linen 


under it, while our sentiments with regard to the 
Imperial and royal authorities, as they call themselves, 
were equally opposed to those feehngs of admiration and 
respect, which they evidently believed they were inspiring. 
Those majestic titles are invariably prefixed to every 
thing that can claim an official character; even the 
Danube Steam Navigation Company have two little K's 
on their flags, which are thus Kaiserlich and Koenifflich, 
as much as the Austrian Guards. I recollect a bold 
parody of this species of grandiloquence that took place 
in a coffee-house, over the door of which the owner had 
inscribed, among other qualities, that of being confectioner 
to his Imperial, Royal, and Arch-Ducal Highness, 
etc. etc. A Greek gentleman of unmistakeably liberal 
opinions, walked into the coffee-house, after having 
stood for some time studying these honours, and when 
a waiter asked him what he might bring him, he replied, 
in a loud voice : — 

" Bring me an Imperial, Royal, and Arch-Ducal glass 
of water.'* 

The Coffee-house was full of loyal subjects of the 
Emperor, but it was soon empty, for no one wished 
to be present at the arrival of the Police, which could 
not fail to make its appearance, and which would have 
arrested them even for having heard the rash jest. 

Let no one trust to the information given at the offices 
of the Danube steamers. At Semlin, the clerk, who gave 
me our tickets, told me most distinctly that the boat 
would only stop an hour at Orsova on its way down the 
river; before reaching that place, the Condudeur, an 
officer especially charged to give information and assist- 


ance to the passengers, said to me that they would stay 
a day there, and, on my asking him why, he answered 
that a httle repose was necessary to the crew of the 
vessel, otherwise they could never support the fatigue of 
so long a voyage. What would be thought of this in 
England, where the fires of some passage-boats are hardly 
ever extinguished ? But this was not all : after landing 
at Orsova, it was announced to us that we could not 
proceed until the fourth day, and no explanation was 
vouchsafed or reply made to our repeated inquiries on 
the subject. 

The Danube steamers are a disgrace to Austria. 
Nothing could be worse than the manner in which they 
are conducted. The want of civility towards strangers 
is most offensive, the imposition of the stewards in their 
charges for food is quite shameful, the irregularity and 
disorder in the arrangements on board are exceedingly 
annoying, and the total contempt of. cleanliness every- 
where visible is altogether disgusting. This must be a 
subject of wonder to any one who has sailed in the 
steamers of another Austrian Company, that of the Lloyds' 
at Trieste, which reflects as much credit on the country 
by its admirable administration, as the Danube Company 
does the contrary. What the latter wants is a formida- 
ble competition, which would soon oblige them to im- 
prove their measures, their manners, and their habits, or 
else drive them out of the field. There is some talk of 
the two companies being united ; it is to be hoped that 
the Trieste employes will in that case introduce their 
system among their future colleagues, in return for the 
pecuniary advantages which would accrue to their branch; 


as, strange to say, the Steam Navigation company of the 
Austrian Lloyds' suffers an annual deficit, while the 
Danube shares produce a dividend of fourteen or fifteen 
per cent. 

As I was writing the preceding remarks in my note- 
book, on the deck of the steamer, I saw the Captain 
looking at me, but I continued my occupation. I then 
heard him call the conducteur, and give him certain 
instructions, after which the latter came behind me, and 
in the most impertinent manner put his hand on my 
shoulder and thrust his head before mine, to look at 
what I was writing. 

" I hope you can read English," I said. 

" Ya." 

" Read then." 

He read my impressions on the subject of the Danube 
steamers, which he perfectly understood with the aid of 
a little interpretation on my part : he made a strange 
grimace, and, turning on his heel, walked away to his 

We were quite glad to leave that villanous steamer, 
and we felt disposed to encounter all the delays, fatigues, 
and inconveniences of a land journey, rather than con- 
tinue on board it until we should reach the Danubian 
port of Giurgevo, which is much nearer the chief town 
of Wallachia, whither we were bound, than Orsova is. 

I went to the Police Office to get my passport, and I 
had to undergo the customary interrogations with regard 
to my social position in life, and the object of my jour- 
ney ; but at length, all difficulties were obviated by the 
Captain of the Company in garrison there, who was the 

VOL. T. N 


administrator of the place. The absurd rigour of the 
Austrian authorities towards strangers, appears to be 
occasionally eluded, however, by the better sense of 
their own subalterns. An instance of this occurred to 
myself on my way through the Austrian Empire ; but 
I shall abstain from mentioning the p'ace where it 
happened, because it is not impossible that these pages 
may meet the eyes of those who might investigate the 
pious fraud, and visit it heavily on its friendly author. 

I wished on that occasion to deviate slightly from my 
route, and applied at the regular office for the requisite 
permission : it was refused, on the plea that my passport 
was not countersigned for the town whither I desired to 
go. I went to the orderly room of the military com- 
mandant, and, before asking to see him, I stated my 
case to his second in command. That officer told me 
that it was quite impossible that his superior could 
accede to my wish ; and I represented to him in the 
strongest terms, how unreasonable it was to expect that, 
in preparing a passport for a long journey, one should 
foresee exactly how it could be effected, and that, by 
raising such unjustifiable obstacles in the way of 
foreigners passing through the couiltry, they would 
only make their government unpopular abroad, without 
attaining any possible object to their own advantage. 
He appeared to feel the force of my argument, and, 
after a little reflection, he said that he would give me a 
chance. He drew out a special permission to travel to 
the place alluded to, and, putting it amongst a number 
of other papers, he went into the next room. He soon 
returned and gave me the document duly signed by the 


Commandant, saying with a smile that his chief had 
not either looked at it, or asked what it was. 

When I was getting my passport signed at Orsova, 
the young Hungarian, who had lost his leg, entered the 
office on the same errand. He was received with a 
frown, as his story was too plainly told by his braided 
jacket and his single Hessian boot. Although under 
the safeguard of a political amnesty, he was treated by 
the Austrian officers with the most insulting contempt ; 
but he bore it in proud silence, until something was said 
to him in Hungarian, which I did not understand, when 
his indignation' burst forth in a torrent of recrimination, 
intelligible to me only by the violence of his manner, 
and by his menacing attitude and gesticulations. Throw- 
ing his whole weight on his crutch and his stick, he 
stamped his surviving foot on the ground. A heathen 
deity once made a horse all ready saddled and bridled 
spring from the earth by doing so ; an old Roman hoped 
thus to make an army rise up before him; but my 
choleric friend only raised a good deal of dust, and made 
his widowed spur ring again. He appealed to me, as 
he soon recognised me, but, excepting the words, *' Herr 
Englander^' I could comprehend nothing either of his 
reproaches, or of his appeal, for that was all that he said 
in German. I was much astonished to perceive that not 
a single word was addressed to him in reply. The 
Austrians literally cowered beneath the irresistible as- 
cendency of his resentment, his passport was imme- 
diately signed, and he strode with it out of the 
room, limping past the officials with an air of lofty 

N 2 

180 ORSOVA. 

There was little to interest us at Orsova, which is a 
very small place of only a thousand inhabitants, but it is 
prettily situated on the Danube. The streets are regular 
and cleanly, and there are some handsome houses be- 
longing to merchants, principally Greeks. The great 
numbers of flower-pots on the window-sills, even of the 
poorest cottagers, were a good sign of the inhabitants, 
and I remarked another symptom which I always con- 
sider favourable among the lower orders ; it was a most 
decided taste for birds in cages, so many of them were 
hanging outside their doors and windows. There was 
a pretty walk to a height behind the town, from which 
I took a sketch, and we spent another agreeable 
afternoon in strolling over a meadow bounded by the 
Danube to the north-west of the town. In returning 
from our walk, we were overtaken by a heavy shower of 
rain. We took shelter in the door- way of a large house ; 
a lady soon appeared, and politely invited us to join a 
party of gentlemen and ladies who were sitting in her 
drawing-room ; we did so, and remained for half-an-hour 
listening to the details of an insurrection, which was said 
to have broken out a few days previously in Bulgaria, 
and which formed the sole topic of conversation. Five- 
and-twenty thousand Bulgarians were said to have 
blockaded the town of Widin, and several engagements 
had taken place, in which 1,000 Christians and 15 
Turks had been killed. One lady assured us that from 
her garden, a little way down the Danube, she had dis- 
tinctly heard the firing from the batteries of Widin. 

Before commencing our journey from Orsova to 
Bucharest by land, we determined to visit the. baths of 


Mehadia, which are only twelve miles distant ; and we 
hired a vehicle, such as should convey us through Wal- 
lachia, that is, a four-wheeled wicker waggon, without 
springs, for no other could be procured. We had not 
gone far, however, before the conviction was forced upon 
us by hard ratthng and jolting, that, bad as the steamer 
was, still it was an easier and more comfortable medium 
of locomotion than a cart. After galloping over the 
stones for about a mile, our carter pulled up, and pro- 
ducing a most primitive-looking scythe, he petitioned for 
our permission to mow^ his horse's dinner on the road- 
side. We made no objection, as this operation obtained 
for us a brief respite to the anvil-like sufferings from the 
constant hammerings which we received on all sides, for 
the covering, as well as the body of the waggon, knocked 
us about with interminable concussions, horizontal and 
perpendicular, diagonal and rotatory. A heap of moist 
long grass having been duly piled beside the cart, we were 
requested to alight; we did so, and waited to see the 
result. The grass was soon transferred to the cart, and 
we were told to lie down upon it. We submitted to all 
the conditions of our existence for the time being, and 
continued our wild career, with somewhat fewer contu- 
sions, but with the additional dangers attendant on the 
marshy nature of our bed. As we thus proceeded, we 
detected each other, more than once, sighing for the 
object of our recent aversion, and most heartily wishing 
ourselves on board the Danube steamer again ; so true it 
is that few things in this world are so very bad that one 
does not soon find a worse. 

Our road followed the course of the small river 


Czerna, through a narrow valley between two thickly 
wooded hills : it was a very pretty country ; but our appetite 
for the picturesque had been so glutted of late, that mere 
scenery had iDCcorae a drug in the market, and we would 
not have it at any price, especially when we were in a cart 
rolling rapidly along a stony road. We, therefore, looked 
with sulky indifference at the rocks overhung with wild- 
vines, and crowned with shady groves, and at the seques- 
tered hamlets nestling in the dell. Three arches of a 
Roman bridge, and a portion of the ancient road, built 
along a perpendicular rock, attracted our attention, and 
obtained a favourable remark or two ; but, on the whole, 
we could not get up the steam for enthusiasm. 

When we reached Mehadia, we acknowledged the de- 
pressing influence of the melancholy scene, unfolded before 
us in the principal and only street of that remote httle 
watering-place — ladies walking about in rich and fashion- 
able attire — officers in uniform — shops full of trinkets and 
gewgaws — temporary stalls — carriages driving about — 
itinerant musicians — hotels, coffee houses, billiard rooms, 
and circulating libraries, crowded with idlers; nothing 
could be more dismal than all this. We had expected 
fine remains of the ancient Roman Baths of Hercules, and 
we found a sort of miniature Carlsbad, with a fat unwhole- 
some statue of the demi-god in the centre, standing up 
to his coarse knees in a cistern of dirty water. This 
clumsy, clownish work of art bears date 1836. The 
only sensible feature we saw about the place, was the 
motly assembly of halt, maimed, and cripple, infirm and 
blind, of various nations, conditions, and ages, and of 
both sexes, promiscuously mingling with the votaries of 


pleasure and indolence; some dragging their languid limbs 
along the winding paths cut in the woods ; others rest- 
ing their feeble persons on the benches or in the summer- 
houses; whilst innumerable covered waggons crowded 
the public square, serving as sleeping places for the 
poorer bathers, who were lying about under the trees, 
rolled in thick rugs after their bath. 

We remarked a large military hospital, and an asylum 
for the indigent invalids who come to try the effect of 
the waters. We also noticed that there were poor-boxes 
publicly exposed in many parts of the town, to invite 
the rich sojourners at Mehadia to provide for the neces- 
sity of their less favoured fellow- sufferers. 

We went to a church, in which divine service was 
being performed, in consequence of its being a holiday. 
The liturgy of the Eastern Christian Communion was 
read, partly in Greek and partly in Sclavonian, the 
remainder being in the Wallachian dialect. 

After that, I sought for a good view of the romantic 
valley in which the baths are situated ; and I found that 
the best spot to take a sketch from was immediately 
above the waggon-town, formed by these descendants of 
the ancient afia^o/Sioc, or dw^ellers in carts. It is cer- 
tainly a very pretty place, Mehadia ; and the waters 
having been proved most efficacious in some disorders, it 
might be visited with satisfaction and advantage by in- 
valids, even from England, now that three days by rail to 
Vienna, and four more by steam to Orsova, suffice to 
complete the journey. As these waters are but Httle 
known, I shall translate the table containing their che- 
mical properties, for the purpose of supplying infor- 



mation to those who might try to recover their health 
there, after having failed elsewhere. 

In 100 cubic inches of water are found — 






0) g 





In the Herculesbad. 













In the Carlsbad. 







In the Ludwigsbad. 







In the Carolinenbad. 







In the Kaiserbad. 







In the Ferdinandibad. 







In the Augenbad. 







In the Frangischebad. 







In the Josephsbad. 

The season for taking the baths is from the middle of 
June to September, and during it the weather is not 
at all variable, and the temperature is exceedingly mild. 
There are few of the drawbacks incidental to hot climates, 
as the air is not too dry, and the rapid stream rushing 
through the narrow valley produces a constant current. 

The Herculesbad, which is the most important of the 
springs, produces 5,045 cubic feet of water per hour, and 
it rushes from the rock as thick as a man's body, being 
the largest mineral spring known, with the exception of 
that of Reikova, in Iceland- — if its volume be not exag- 
gerated by Sir George M'Kenzie. It was discovered by 
the Romans after the conquest of Dacia by Trajan, when 
the fifth, or Macedonian Legion, was stationed in the 
neighbourhood, and it soon became celebrated for its . 
healing properties ; but it was forgotten iu the vicissi- 


tudes and invasions of different nations during the 
middle ages, and was brought into notice again only in 
the year 1500, under Charles VI., by Field -Marshal 
Count Hamilton, a Scotchman in the Austrian service, 
who raised several houses there from the remains of the 
Roman buildings. In the Turkish wars they were 
destroyed, and the baths fell into neglect, and were lost 
sight of until 1801, when the Frontier Regiment of the 
Banat, to which they belonged, commenced turning 
them to account as a profitable watering-place. Roman 
coins and pieces of sculpture are frequently dug up, and 
a small statue of Hercules was discovered behind the 
spring, which bears his name. 

We dined at a restaurant, in a shady garden, with a 
pretty jet d'eau in front of the table, and, after paying 
an astonishingly moderate charge, we were informed that 
our cart stopped the way, and we sighed as we thought 
of the trying ordeal that awaited us, and the painful 
process to which our persons had already been subjected 
on that instrument of torture. But there was nothing 
for it, and, with the resignation of so many martyrs, we 
consigned ourselves to the tender mercies of our ignoble 
waggon, which w^as to convey us, first to the remains of 
Ihe ancient bath, at some distance from the modern 
w^atering-place, and thence to Orsova. Our executioner 
rattled us, full gallop, over the stones, and we soon left 
the houses, hotels, and shops behind us. The road 
became narrow as the valley closed, leaving scarcely 
room enough for the river Czerna and ourselves to pass 
out of it abreast, the trees being jostled up on the steep 
banks on either side of the ravine, where they seemed to 


elbow each other as they thickened into a leafy mob. 
We emerged upon an open sort of lawn, and our pitiless 
waggoner flogged his horses to the tip-top of their speed, 
throwing us all of a heap in the cart ; and in this plight 
we made our triumphal appearance in the heau monde of 
Mehadia ; for, to our horror, we discovered that a crowd 
of fashionably dressed ladies and gentlemen were here 
enjoying their afternoon promenade on foot, on horse- 
back, and in handsome carriages. All eyes were riveted 
on us, and, as we could no longer drive so fast, the 
savage pulled in his horses, as if to show us to the won- 
dering multitude, in the phght of poultry on their way 
to market. This was not all; for at last he stopped 
altogether in the middle of the lawn, and proceeded to 
unyoke them for the purpose of watering them at a 
spring among the trees, before commencing their work, 
according to eastern custom. We would not sit there 
to be gazed at, and we made a most undignified descent 
from our throne of hay, which had replaced the wet 
grass, and told the coachman to follow us w^hen he 
should be ready, as we would walk to the ancient baths. 
The little boys skipped about like birds escaped from 
their cages ; their Glengarry caps, long curling hair, and 
fair complexions of the north, allied to the regular 
features of the south, attracted general attention ; and 
they soon found themselves in the centre of an admiring 
circle, and accosted in half-a-dozen different languages, 
German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Wallachian, and 
Serbian, all equally unintelligible to them. But many 
of their admirers were of their own age, and children 
easily make themselves understood, while their hoops, 


and battledoors and shuttlecocks, formed topics for a 
pantomimic intercourse, which soon developed itself, 
and became a general game of romps, as if the polyglot 
little party had been formed of cousins-german. We 
called them to follow us, which they did, but not alone ; 
for each of them came exultingly with a captive young 
Magyar Countess or Austrian gnddigesfraulein. We 
made no objections to this satisfactory little arrange- 
ment, and proceeded to the ancient baths, where there 
was as affectionate a leave-taking after a half hour's 
walk together as if the four children had known each 
other all their little lives, and the two merry-faced and 
bright-eyed girls, neither of whom was more than eight 
or nine years old, ran back to the lawn. Who knows 
what tricks their young imaginations may play them, and 
how long the soft w^ax of their memories may bear the 
impression produced by the stranger boys ? They may 
meet again — who can say where, and when, and how ? 

The ancient baths seem to have been very small, if 
one may judge by their remains, which consist in large 
blocks of stone, indicating in some places, only how 
confined the circuit of the building must have been. 
We entered the modern bath-house, close beside it. If 
it was in such a puddle that the demi-god acquired his 
strength, I would rather continue to be a weak mortal 
than face again that nauseous, fetid, chalybeate and sul- 
phuric odour, even were my future labours to be twice 
as great as those of Hercules. 

We came out of the baths, and stood for some time at 
the door waiting for our waggon. It did not appear : 
the horses must have been most uncommonly thirsty; 


still we waited— another quarter of an hour passed, and 
no waggon was forthcoming. As it must pass by this 
road, however, we walked on, that it might overtake us. 
There were benches at regular distances among the trees, 
and we occasionally sat down to while away the time, 
and then walked on again. It was a fine afternoon, and 
a beautiful country, but we should have enjoyed it the 
more if we had known where our waggon was. As we 
approached one of the seats, we perceived that it was 
occupied by a charming group, w^orthy of a painter's 
study : they were two ladies, one very young, the other 
between two ages, as a Frenchman would say, and both 
as beautiful as their respective years would admit of. 
The younger, who was perfectly lovely, was pouring a 
tale evidently of deep interest into the attentive ear of the 
elder, who listened to it with an expression of mingled 
tenderness and anxiety. They could only be a mother 
and daughter; and the poetical admirer of nature in 
any form, who was with me, insisted that the latter was 
confessing her innocent preference for a kindred spirit, 
in every way worthy of her affections, while the former 
was invoking a blessing from above on her fair young 
head. Or rather, I replied, the girl is telling her mamma 
how she had refused to dance on the previous evening with 
her betrothed lover, the poor young officer of hussars, 
because the rich old banker with the liver complaint had 
proposed to marry her, and the old lady is commending 
her for doing honour to the careful education she had 
given her. However this might have been, we could not 
find our waggon, and that was a paramount consideration 
under existing circumstances. We walked on, and still 


on we walked, mile after mile, imtil we began to get 
rather tired and very much alarmed, for we had left 
Mehadia a long way behind us ; the little boys could not 
walk back, and we could not carry them. My nervous 
friend proposed to ascend a wooded height on our left, 
whence an extensive view might be obtained of the road 
by which we had come, in order to see if the cart were 
near, while I should remain on the road to prevent its 
passing us. The plan was approved, and the younger 
boy accompanied the expedition, which he led in skir- 
mishing order, while the main body followed him in 
close column, along the tortuous course of a capricious 
path, which wound among the trees to the summit of 
the position. My repeated shouts from below remained 
unanswered after I had lost sight of them, and Ann, 
Sister Ann, w^as deaf to all my questions, if she saw any 
one coming ; at last I heard a shot, and then the detach- 
ment became visible, retreating in the utmost disorder 
down the hill. I ran forward to support it, and cover a 
rally, if it could be brought to form again. 

" A wolf !" exclaimed the light infantry. 

" A brigand !" screamed the main body. 

A wolf and a brigand ! One such enemy would 
certainly be more than a match for us ; what can we do 
against both at once ? But let us hear the exact result 
of the reconnaissance which had been effected. The 
brigand had been seen levelling a horrid gun, with a 
slouched hat on his head ; — he had fired, and then the 
wolf had sprung through the brushwood, showing his 
ravenous teeth as he bounded along. We were con- 
sidering what was best to be done, when a gentlemanly 


looking sportsman came out of the wood, took off the 
very slouched hat, and said he hoped that we had not 
been alarmed when he had shot the woodcock which he 
held in his other hand. The wolf was quietly walking 
behind him, and came forward wagging his tail for 
a piece of biscuit, which the elder of the little boys 
gave him. We told our new acquaintance, who was a 
German, residing at Mehadia, in what an awkward 
predicament we were placed with regard to our waggon, 
and we were all standing in the middle of the road 
straining our eyes in the direction of the watering-place 
to see if it were coming, when we were nearly driven 
over by a cart advancing rapidly from Orsova. It 
was pulled up, and we recognised our coachman, who 
reproached us bitterly for having made him go half- 
way home in search of us. The fact was that he had 
passedwh ile we were in the baths, and had gone on 
until he had become convinced of the impossibility of 
our having walked so far, when he had turned back to 
look for us. We bowed to the brigand, the children 
patted the wolf on the head, and we took our seats at 
last in the waggon. 

As we drove along we were amused by the equestrian 
skill of a Hungarian Amazon, who was seated on a small 
and fiery horse, which she guided by a rope round its 
neck and a small branch which she had broken off a 
tree ; she galloped furiously in front of our cart, and no 
dragoon could have sat better ; she seemed determined 
that we should not pass her, while our carter, equally 
emulous, flogged his horses, as if intent on grinding our 
bones to powder. At last we won the race, and as we 

ORSOVA. 191 

rushed past, she turned round laughing, and displayed 
the wizened features of an old woman of sixty-five at 
least. We passed the Lazaretto, quite untenanted, as 
there is no quarantine between Turkey and Austria, 
excepting when the plague is actually raging, for the old 
prejudices on this subject are fast disappearing every- 
where, and travellers are not subjected, as they once 
were, to an imprisonment more irksome than the conta- 
gion itself, merely because fear is often the offspring of 

When we reached Orsova, we met an old acquaint- 
ance, who told us that he had made the journey from 
Bucharest by land, and he strongly recommended us to 
give up the idea altogether, as the country was unin- 
teresting, and the fatigue of traveUing several days in a 
cart without springs at the furious rate at which the 
Wallachian postilions drive their team of six or eight 
horses, would not be repaid by anything we could see by 
the way. I had always intended to make a tour in the 
interior of Wallachia from Bucharest, and we therefore 
made up our minds to proceed by the steamer down the 
Danube. The delay at Orsova was now explained by 
the arrival of another steamer from Vienna, the passen- 
gers of both being thus enabled to embark in one of the 
large boats that ply only once a-week on the lower part 
of the river, and the trick played off upon us being 
necessary to induce travellers to take the first small boat, 
which would otherwise be empty, while the second 
would be unable to accommodate all the applicants for 
passages. 1 went to take our places, and had another 
little instance of the respectability of the management 


of the Danube steamers, iu an unworthy attempt to 
obtain gold from me in payment at twenty -five per cent, 
below its value : I changed it without difficulty in town, 
and paid the office in paper. We had another custom- 
house search of our baggage on embarking; and for 
what possible purpose travellers leaving the country are 
subjected to this troublesome ordeal is more than I can 
understand or explain. When my few rough drawings 
were discovered, a great outcry was raised ; I must be 
a military spy, it was evident, because the subjects were 
all castles and fortresses. I told them that they were 
very much mistaken if they thought that any fortifica- 
tions 1 had seen in Austria would require a deep study 
of their plan and defences before attacking them ; but 
that they might set their minds quite at rest on that 
score, as I could take upon myself to assure them that 
there was no intention to invade Austria on the part of 
Great Britain. The only result was a great deal of non- 
seiise said on both sides, and my trunks were embarked 
without further demurring of the obnoxious officials. 

I had travelled about a good deal in different coun- 
tries of Europe, but I had never yet met with so syste- 
matic and consistent a series of petty annoyances and 
suspicions, as on this occasion. I therefore flattered 
myself that it could not arise from any personal pecu- 
liarities tending to excite alarm with regard to my 
object in travelling, and I consequently concluded that 
it originated either from the precarious position of the 
German government in the Sclavonic provinces of Aus- 
tria, or from a dislike to the English in general. But, 
as I had not heard or read of any other Englishman 


having been subjected to such persecution, I could only 
attribute it to the internal circumstances of the country, 
while if the slightest grounds really existed for the 
supposition that a citizen of free England was not a 
welcome guest, I can only say frankly that the antipathy 
was mutual in my case; and it was with feelings of 
undisguised satisfaction that I quitted the dominions 
of Pranz Joseph, Emperor of Austria, and King of 

VOL. I. 




Our party on board the steamer consisted cliiefly of a 
Russian countess with her suite. There were two ladies 
of honour, one Russian and the other French, who could 
not well be mere ladies' maids, as they dined at table 
with their mistress, and sat conversing with her on deck; 
but, as she had no other female attendants, I presume 
that they performed the office of menials, while they 
enjoyed the privilege of familiarity by right of some 
pecuHar feature in the domestic manners and customs 
of Russia. There was an English governess, a French 
Doctor, a Russian gentleman of business, another French 
gentleman, whose functions I could not define, two little 
monkeys no bigger than rats, and four insulting parrots 
in cages, one paralytic pug in a basket, and one very 
unhappy-looking child, who shared with the rival pets 
the almonds, biscuits, and lumps of sugar, of which a 
huge bag was always kept full for their common use. 
There was also a gentleman from Vienna, who was con- 
spicuous only through his loud and repeated complaints 


against the agents of the Danube steamers, who had lost 
his passport for him at Orsova, and as he was going to 
Russia, he had no chance of being able to reach his 
destination without it. 

In about a quarter of an hour, we passed the island 
on which the Turkish fortress of New Orsova stands, 
and which we had seen from the height behind the 
Austrian town of Alt Orsova. The ramparts seemed to 
be in a very imperfect state, but they were undergoing 
repairs, and several new buildings, among others a large 
mosque, were in the course of construction. The position 
is advantageous, lying at the point of contact of the 
provinces of Wallachia, and Serbia, with Austria, and 
not far from the Bulgarian territory, which is still entirely 
Turkish, and has none of the forms of self-administration 
granted to the two other provinces alluded to. The 
island, being backed by an unprivileged portion of the 
Ottoman Empire, will therefore serve as an outpost of 
some value in the event of further attempts to consum- 
mate the dismemberment of the northern possessions of 
Turkey. It is commanded, however, by the small fort 
of Shistab, on the right bank of the river, which is called 
Tort Elizabeth by the Austrians, and both shot and shell 
could be effectually thrown into New Orsova from thence, 
if it fall into the hands of an enemy : like all the Serbian 
forts it is garrisoned by Turks. 

We passed the celebrated cataracts of the Danube, 
called the Iron Gate, which were in my opinion infinitely 
less striking than the Kazan; after that we saw the 
Turkish fort of Cladova, where the remains of Roman 
fortifications are still visible ; and then we came to the 

o 2 


ruins of Trajan's Bridge, which have been so often de- 
scribed, and expatiated on as having been raised after the 
victories over the Dacian king Decebalus, and as having 
been destroyed by Hadrian in the -hope of preventing 
the invasion of the Goths. A single crumbUng pier 
stands on the bank of the river, left there, as a clever 
Prench lady, -whom I aftervi^ards met, said of it, like the 
visiting card of the Roman Emperor. Near it is 
the ruined tower of Severinus, which has given the 
name of Turnu Severinu to a neighbouring small town 
on the Wallachian side. A few hmidred yards from it 
lies the steamboat station of Skella Cladova, where we 
stopped to change steamers : it was the first place in 
Wallachia which we visited, and of a truth it was hardly 
calculated to give a favourable impression ; yet there 
was much that was characteristic about it. A few 
miserable huts surrounded one good house; a number 
of rude waggons crowded around a travelling chariot of 
Vienna manufacture; Boyards and boors, princes and 
peasants, with no intervening link between the highest 
and the lowest grades of society. In the chariot sat 
Prince Michael Sturdza, formerly Hospodar of Moldavia, 
now on his way to the watering places of Germany ; 
twelve small and lean post-horses were preparing to drag 
him to Orsova by land, as he had disembarked here on 
account of his apprehensions of the danger of steaming 
through the Iron Gate; and several strange looking 
guards on horseback accompanied him, dressed in the 
ordinary countryman's costume, and armed to the teeth. 
This was a Boyard, who had risen to the highest rank 
in his province, which he held for many years. 


We were transferred with our Countess, — whose name 
I never could make anything of, as I perceived when 
she afterwards offered us her card as a souvenir of our 
short acquaintanceship, that it was composed of no less 
than fourteen consonants, to three vowels — thus, Tsch-1- 
schtsch-fT; and with the men, women, monkeys, and 
parrots, of her household, — to the large steamer which 
plies on the Lower Danube. It was a fine boat of London 
construction, said to steam eleven knots an hour, and 
we cherished the idea that we had done well in preferring 
the navigation of the river to land travelling, as we 
would at least enjoy a comfortable night's rest. On 
reaching the quarter-deck, we found a snug little party 
of sixteen carriages arranged in two lines along the gun- 
wales, shutting us up, as in a coach-house, and pre- 
cluding the possibility of our seeing anything of the 
scenery on either side, or of our feeling the slightest 
breath of fresh air. A barge was towed by the steamer 
containing several other carriages, as the traffic in this 
line between Vienna, and Wallachia, and Russia, is ex- 
tensive and profitable ; and if the Danube Company had 
the slightest consideration for the comforts of their 
passengers, they might have put all the carriages in the 
barge, where there was abundance of room, and released 
us from this oven-like prison. 

On resuming our course down the river, we passed 
the Wallachian town of Tshernetz, lying a little way 
inland. Along the left bank appeared at regular dis- 
tances, a number of watch-towers, similar to those of 
Austria, forming a sanitary cordon against Bulgaria, 
which province commenced on the right hand, as soon 

198 WIDIN. 

as we had passed the small river Timok, which flows 
into the Danube, dividing Serbia from Bulgaria. 

This country was flat and bare on both sides, and the 
distant ranges of the Carpathian towards the north, and 
the Balkans to the south, were fast receding, as the vast 
plain of the Lower Danube opened out before us, with 
its green meadows and dark forests, A Bulgarian 
village appeared to be an assemblage of basket dwellings, 
badly thatched, and scarcely bigger than dog-kennels : 
they looked like a number of old hampers lying about ; 
there was no church, although it contained several 
hundred families of Christians. A couple of miles 
further down, a much smaller hamlet had a Turkish 
mosque. Is this from the intolerance of the Ottoman 
government, which is so much talked of by some 
persons, or is it from indifierence on the part of the 
Christian inhabitants? I hope to have the means of 
forming an opinion for myself hereafter on this subject. 

We soon reached the fortified town of Widin, the 
capital of Upper Bulgaria, on the right bank, and the 
straggling village of Calafat on the left. The minarets 
and cypress-trees of the former offered a striking con- 
trast with the bare and wretched appearance of the 
latter. There were no symptoms of revolution, or 
blockade about Widin, but we saw a number of upright 
poles with round balls on them, raised along the 
ramparts ; there was a general cry on board the steamer 
that they were the heads of the rebels who had been 
executed : on examining them through a telescope, 
however, I soon discovered that they were merely the 
large sponges used to clean the cannons, which were 


attached to the ramrods. The fortifications were low 
and weak in many points, the parapets being of 
wattles filled with earth; the lime between the stones 
of the ramparts being worn away, and their slope too 
great, they might easily be escaladed from the river if 
they were attacked by surprise. An island on the 
Wallachian side would be an admirable position to 
effect operations from, as the ground rises considerably 
on the side next Bulgaria, falling gradually as it recedes, 
and forming a natural cover to protect an assailing force 
from the fire of the town. A flotilla on the Danube 
might, on the other hand, successfully defend it against 
such an attack ; there was a war schooner lying there, 
and I was told that they always had a guard-ship. 

A person embarked at Calafat, who seemed anxious 
to avoid all intercourse with those on board, but I was 
determined to obtain some information from him on 
the subject of the alleged revolt. He was a tall 
middle-aged man, with grey mustachios, and though he 
was dressed with considerable negligence, there was a 
something about him which betrayed the gentleman and 
the soldier. After much circumlocution I succeeded in 
bringing him to talk on Bulgaria. He told me that the 
Bulgarians were then in open insurrection against the 
Turks, who gave them chase wherever they could find 
them, having already killed upwards of a thousand, 
with a loss of about fifteen. I asked him if the in- 
surgents had any known chief, and he said they had not, 
but were merely driven by the oppression of the Turks 
to take up arms against them, and fight them in detached 
bodies in the hope of delivering the province from their 


thraldom. I suggested that they must expect assistance 
from abroad, otherwise they would never be so deluded as 
to suppose that they could succeed. He interrupted me in 
a sharp manner by asking what assistance I alluded to ; 
and I then drew a parallel between the circumstances he 
had mentioned and the insurrection of Wallachia in 1821, 
when Ypsilanti came from Russia to take the command of 
the rebels. This seemed not to please him, and he as- 
sured me that Russia would never act in such a way, as 
she was the best friend the Sultan had. I felt disposed to 
ask him if he saw anything very green, according to the 
slang expression, in the white of my eye, but I contented 
myself with changing the subject of conversation. 

I afterwards learnt, from a high official authority, the 
whole history of my present informant. He had been 
a general in the Russian service, and had been reduced 
to the condition of a private soldier in consequence of 
certain malpractices ; he then served in the ranks of the 
army which was sent by the Czar to Transylvania last 
year, and had been allowed every opportunity of gaining 
his epaulettes by distinguishing himself, which he 
ultimately succeeded in doing, as he was gifted with 
personal courage. Having afterwards remained in the 
Danubian Principalities with the army of occupation, 
his activity, intelligence, and experience, induced his 
superiors to employ him as a secret emissary in political 
affairs, and he had now been sent into Bulgaria to 
encourage the Itayas by every possible means to display 
discontent, and to foment the insurrection. He had 
recrossed the Danube to report the result of his mission 
at Bucharest, and just finished his quarantine at Calafat. 


We did not touch at Widin, as the Danube Company 
has two steamers constantly plying up and down ; one on 
each side of the river, on account of the absurd continu- 
ance of the quarantine between Wallachia and Bulgaria, 
which Russia takes advantage of for political purposes. 
The Bulgarian line is by far the most profitable to the 
Company, and, if there were not generally more passengers 
in the steamer in Pratique than on this occasion, their 
principal advantage can only be derived by transplanting 
carriages, as I heard that there were often, even more of 
them, than we had, on deck ; but our fellow-passengers, 
if not numerous, were noisy, and when we cast anchor 
at night, the gentlemen of the Russian lady's suite 
seemed to have conspired against our chance of enjoying 
acomfortable night's rest, for they kept up their whist 
party in the cabin till a most unconscionably late hour. 
It was a lovely moonlight night, and I continued pacing 
up and down the quarter-deck, impatiently waiting until 
their rubber should be finished, as it was in vain to think 
of sleeping as long as it lasted. 

There were no beds, and we were expected to pass the 
night on the sofas, which surrounded the cabins ; but 
they looked clean and felt soft, and I longed to measure 
my length on one of them. Hour after hour passed, and 
still I heard exclamations of: — 

"Quel est I'atout?" and "La levee et quatre d'hon- 
neurs !" " Encore une triple !" 

One by one the few other passengers appeared on 
deck with pillows and cloaks under their arms, driven 
from the cabin, as I thought, by the indiscreet noise of 
the whist-players, and I indulged in sundry animadver- 


sions on the unwarrantable liberty they were taking with 
our nocturnal rest. I looked through the open sky- 
light, and then I heard the voice of the Russian countess, 
calling from the ladies' cabin : — 

"En avez-vous par la, Messieurs?" 

One of the gentlemen replied, without leaving his 
seat : 

" Nous en avons tant, Madame, qu'elles courent meme 
sur nos cartes, et nous n'osons pas nous coucher." 

Another gentle voice arose from the same retreat, ex- 
claiuiing : — 

"Levons nous toutes, pour faire un charivari a la 
porte du capitaine ! '' 

I was at a loss fully to comprehend the gist of this 
dialogue ; .but I felt strong misgivings with regard to my 
own chance of repose, since others had spontaneously 
renounced theirs ; and it was evident to me that all was 
not as it should be in the steamer. I proceeded to the 
companion-ladder, with the intention of descending to 
the cabin to investigate the real state of matters there; 
on the stair I found a lady sitting in a most dejected 
attitude, sighing dismally, and endeavouring in vain to 
sleep with her head on one of the steps. I expressed 
some surprise at the position she had selected, and a 
feeling of sympathy for her apparent sufferings, of which 
I begged to know the cause; and, in reply, she only 
pronounced a single word, that sufficed to explain the 
whole affair, for it was the nauseous name of a certain 
anthropophagous insect, with which it appeared that the 
cabin literally swarmed. I went below, however, in the 
hope, which is. peculiar to sanguine temperaments, that 


my fate would prove an exception to that of others, 
and that my person might not tempt the cannibal tastes 
of the obnoxious enemies of sleep ; and I lay down 
on a sofa to bring the fortunes of war to a speedy issue, 
and determined to yield only to an overwhelming force, 
which should render my position untenable. I sustained 
with unwavering front several terrific charges of the 
heavy dragoons already alluded to ; but when I found 
that numerous squadrons of light cavalry had also taken 
the field, advancing rapidly, and suddenly retreating, 
tickling and jumping, biting and jumping again, with a 
promptness of evolution that baffled my utmost attempts 
at defence, I then began to stagger under their re- 
peated attacks; and my lines were finally broken by a 
fierce onslaught of irregular lancers from the neighbour- 
ing marshes, which poured in upon me through the open 
windows, driving me almost mad, with their shrill 
trumpets and envenomed spears ; and the three com- 
bined forces obliged me to commence a disorderly flight. 
I rallied around three camp-stools on deck, which were 
my only resource, and on them I spent the remainder 
of the night in occasional intervals of oblivion between 
my deep and heart-felt philippics against the Danube 

We weighed anchor at an early hour in the morning, 
and continued our rapid course down the river, passing 
first Lom-Palanka, beautifully situated on the wooded 
hills to the right, and then we steamed swiftly under 
the Bulgarian fortress of Nicopoli, with its clusters of 
white houses and shining minarets, perched on a line of 
limestone cliffs, memorable as the scene of the Hungarian 

204 TUllNO. 

King Sigismund's defeat, by Sultan Bayezid I, in 1396, 
when a thousand French Kniglits, with as many esquires, 
and 6,000 mercenaries, under the command of the 
Counts of Nevers, La Marche, Bar, Artois, and Eu, the 
German Chivalry, led by Frederick, Count of Hohenzallern, 
Grand Prior of the Empire, the Elector Palatine, the 
Count of Momfpelgard, the Castellan of Niirnberg, and 
Hermann II, Count of CilH, the KnigMs of St. John of 
Jerusalem, under their Grand Master, who had brought 
them all the way from Rhodes, whence they had not 
yet migrated to Malta, and the Wallachian levies, com- 
manded by their Hospodar Myrtshe in person, were 
totally routed by the Janissaries, who thus proved them- 
selves superior to the choicest armies of Europe, and the 
terror of whose name soon spread through every country 
of Christendom. 

Nicopoli is now scarcely in a defensible state, as the 
fortifications are almost totally dismantled, and indeed it 
could never have possessed any great degree of strength, 
at least since the introduction of artillery, because it is 
commanded by the heights around it ; on that occasion, 
however, it stood a siege of six days, which was raised 
by the arrival of Sultan Bayezid : a decisive battle was 
then fought, and King Sigismund embarked with the 
WTCck of his army on board the galleys of the future 
Knights of Malta, and escaped down the river, leaving 
his allies to be taken prisoners. 

We next came in sight of the Wallachian town of 
Turno, a low and miserable -looking place : further on, 
we soon perceived on the right bank, Sistov, a town of 
some commercial importance, with a population of 21,000 


inhabitants, and an old castle rising behind it, in which 
the peace of 1791 was concluded between Austria and 
Turkey. While on the Wallachian shore, the large 
villages of Symnitz and Tutesti appeared lying on the open 
plain, so flat and bare, that the high and wooded country 
on the southern side, though little in itself, seemed quite 
picturesque in comparison. 

We were now approaching the termination of our steam 
voyage, and I was not destined to take leave of the 
Danube Company without a final example of its respecta- 
bihty. I called for my bill, which was exorbitant, but I 
could only express my opinion, which the stewards seemed 
to care little about, and I was obliged to pay a sum so 
outrageously overcharged, that on reaching the deck I 
mentioned it to a gentleman, whom I supposed to be a 
passenger, that it was my intention to write a letter to 
the general Director of the Company, exposing the 
extortion w^hich was permitted by their agents : he 
begged to see my bill, and when I gave it to him, he 
went to the cabin, whence the head steward soon emerged, 
offering to refund to me one- third of what I had paid ; 
the fact was that the gentleman chanced to be the 
agent himself, who was on a tour of inspection; but the 
Danube Company was incorrigible, for on looking over 
the sum returned to me, after I had left the steamer, I 
found that they had still pilfered a florin, as I had had 
the good faith not to count it at the time. 

At last we reached the towns of Rustshuk and Giurgevo, 
facing each other, and both important in the history of 
the Danubian provinces : often besieged and destroyed, 
but still existing, to play a prominent part in any future 


war that may take place between Turkey and her great 
northern rival. Rustshuk is a town of 30,000 inhabi- 
tants, and surrounded by strong military works ; but 
the fortifications of Giurgevo were dismantled by the 
Russians, as well as all the other forts of the left bank, 
when they last evacuated the principalities, and, as they 
there stipulated by treaty that they should not be re- 
paired, we found them in a state of complete ruin. 

The historical importance of these two towns com- 
menced shortly after the conclusion of the treaty of 
Sistov, which had the effect of withdrawing Austria 
from the ranks of the Sultan's enemies, but which by no 
means impeded the aggressions of Russia. The latter 
power first succeeded in wresting Georgia from his 
grasp, and then attempted to obtain possession of Mol- 
davia and Wallachia. The Czar commenced by giving 
the widest possible interpretation to the relative clause 
of the treaty of Kainardjik, which classed him as a 
guarantee for the religious rights of the Sultan's Chris- 
tian subjects in these provinces, and he usurped the 
functions of an active protector, regardless of the logical 
distinction between these two qualities, and dispensing 
with the necessary conditions of his intervention, namely, 
a palpable invasion of these rights, and a public appeal 
to him as a guarantee. This conduct became at last so 
violent, that the Ottoman Porte retaliated by closing 
the Bosphorus against the Russian ships ; and an army 
immediately advanced under General Michelson to de- 
mand satisfaction ; Yassi, the capital of Moldavia, was 
taken; and Bucharest, the capital of Wallachia, was 
threatened. The Turkish army, commanded by Mus- 


taplia Bairactar, opposed the progress of the Russians, 
and was beaten. The inhabitants of Bucharest, lured 
by the fair promises of the invaders, revolted against 
the Turks, and joining the advanced guard of Michelson's 
army, drove them out of the town. The Sultan assem- 
bled another force at Hadrianople, and attempted to 
regain his lost territory, but his efforts were in vain, for 
the military vigour of his empire had been undermined 
by the insubordination of the Janissaries, who, after 
founding the Ottoman power by their valour and disci- 
pline, were on the verge of overthrowing it by their 
turbulence and corruption. The Russians then crossed 
the Danube, and endeavoured to storm Rustshuk and 
Shumla, but these two places were well defended, and 
the assailants vrere repulsed with a heavy loss on both 
occasions, but principally at Rustshuk, where they lost 
6,000 men. The Turks were enticed from their fortresses 
and fought a pitched battle, in which they were defeated, 
and they were obliged to retreat behind the Balkans, 
leaving the whole of Eastern Bulgaria in the hands of 
the Russians. But Sultan Mahmud II. was endowed 
with a character of too vigorous a stamp to admit of 
his giving up any part of his territory without another 
struggle, and he levied a powerful army under the com- 
mand of his best General, Kavonosoglu Ahmed Aga, 
w^hich he sent to attack the well-known Kutusoff at 
Rustshuk. He succeeded; the Russians were driven 
across the river to Giurgevo, whither they carried also the 
inhabitants of Rustshuk ; and they set fire to that town 
on evacuating it. The Turks extinguished the flames, 
however, and pursued the Russians into Wallachia. 


KutusofF outmanoeuvred them by a flank movement to 
attack their camp, and, seeing his communications inter- 
cepted, Ahmed Aga was forced to off'er terms which 
were gladly accepted, on account of Napoleon's invasion 
of Russia, which required that the army engaged with 
the Turks should return for the defence of the country. 
The treaty of Bucharest was then concluded, and the 
treachery of the Greek Murusi, who was in the Turkish 
service, and secretly in the pay of Russia, deprived the 
Sultan of the whole of Bessarabia, for which conduct in 
that negotiation, the traitor was beheaded. 

Rustshuk ■ is one of the fortresses strengthening the 
outer line of defence of Turkey against Russia ; Widin, 
and Nicopoli, being the two others towards the west, 
and SiUstra towards the east. But the Danube is, at 
best, a weak bulwark against invasion, for no difficulty 
has ever been experienced by a hostile army in passing 
it, especially when its left flank was covered by a fleet 
in the Black Sea, and provisions thus secured. The 
Czar met with no great obstacles on the Danube, when 
he last attacked Turkey, in 1828, and, on that occasion, 
the second, or inner line of defence, afforded the only 
real protection to the country. This line is formed by 
the Balkans, whose dense forests and rugged flanks, 
effectually impede the movements of regular troops, and 
there are only five passes in their whole length, which 
are practicable for heavy artillery and waggons. Three 
of them are closed by the defences of Shumla and Varna, 
and as these are the most direct and accessible of the 
five roads, the two towns in front of them may be called 
the keys of the Balkans. Shumla, it is true, is not 


strictly speaking a fortress, but merely an entrenched 
camp; in the hands of a movable army, however, as 
the base of its operations embracing Rustshuk, Silistra, 
Varna, and the mouths of the Danube, all of which 
points are within three days' march of it, Shumla must 
prove a most advantageous position ; while Varna, al- 
though its ramparts are weak, being without salient 
angles, is so completely defended towards the land by 
extensive and deep marshes, that a battering-train cannot 
get within available distance of it, and it could never be 
taken either by storm or blockade, without a fleet to 
close it in from the sea : in fact it was only obtained 
possession of by the Russians in 1829, through the 
treachery of Yusuf Pasha. The real line of defence is, 
therefore, the great range of Mount Haemus, now called 
the Balkans, and no reliance should be, or I believe is 
now, placed by the Turks on the, Danube, with its four 
fortresses of Widin, Nicopoli, Rustshuk, and Silistra. 

The Russians lost a large force at Giurgevo, in that 
campaign of 1829, but they completely demolished the 
place, which can no longer play a warlike part in any 
future struggle between the two great rivals of the East, 
unless it be completely fortified anew by the Sultan. Its 
importance, even in the time of the invasion of the 
country by the adventurous forces of the Genoese 
Republic, as the remains of their camp still attest, 
might be greater than that of Rustshuk, on account of 
its forming an advantageous tete de pont for a Turkish 
army in the Moldo-Wallachian provinces. It is now 
the port of Bucharest, and is a busy bustling place in 
its way. 

VOL. I. p 


On landing there, for the first time on Wallachian 
territory, I was agreeably surprised to find that the 
government was so much in advance of that of Austria, 
as to give us little or no trouble with passport or 
Custom-house formalities; and as we were fortunately 
not in quarantine, we were not exposed to the Russian 
rigours of that establishment. The first thing we saw 
was a Turkish camp, with its green tents full of divans, 
carpets, and pipes ready for use, which were visible 
through the wide openings. It was all very well that 
the Turks should be there, as the Sultan is the sovereign 
of the province; but there were also Russian soldiers 
lounging in the pot-houses, who bore about them an air 
of haughty occupation, little in harmony with the im- 
perial professions of friendly protection, which protection 
is itself usurped. The streets are straggling and irre- 
gular, and the buildings, with a few exceptions, poor ; 
but it is said to be a rising town through the trade of 
Bucharest, and the exportation of corn grown on the 
neighbouring plains. We did not stay there longer 
than we could help ; indeed, there was no temptation to 
do so ; and we started for Bucharest as soon as we could 
find a conveyance. This consisted of the classical 
covered cart, with four horses abreast, and, to drive us, 
a sort of peasant, with whom we could not exchange a 
single word, while we enjoyed this time the additional 
advantage of sitting on our hard trunks. 

We left Giurgevo at a brisk pace, and commenced 
our journey across a vast plain, which seemed to be 
interminable ; I never saw such a plain in my life ; hour 
after hour we hurried forwards, the horizon never rising 


an inch, and nothing appearing to vary its straight 
unbroken line whichever way we turned. There was no 
road, but we followed the track of wheels, hghtly 
marked in the dust, and generally without turning or 
deviating one iota from its course, which seemed to have 
been drawn on the globe with a gigantic ruler. Some- 
times we would pass through a wood, and occasionally 
we crossed a river on a bridge formed of unhewn logs. 
Storks flew heavily from us, and herds of horses, cows, 
and buffaloes, lazily moved aside as we rushed past them 
in a cloud of dust, for the Wallachian drivers are un- 
sparing of their team. We saw only two villages, 
Bungasko and Roman, at which latter place we crossed 
the river Ardjish, where the huts of the peasants seemed 
to be merely square holes dug in the ground with a roof 
of branches covered with mud, and a door in one end, 
accessible by a slope cut for the purpose, but also serving 
to lead rain-water into it. And yet the people looked 
healthy, and one might almost say happy ; for, notwith- 
standing the notorious extortions of various kinds to 
which they are subjected, the extraordinary fertility of 
the soil shields them from want. 

After ten hours' drive we reached the gates of 
Bucharest. Here we were stopped and interrogated 
with regard to our purpose in coming; but on the 
whole, I must say, in justice to the Wallachians, that 
their passport-system, if such a thing can be called 
a system, is less troublesome than that of most other 
continental countries, which are afflicted with the weak- 
ness of wishing to check and control the movements 
of travellers. They take the passport at the gates 

p 2 


of the town, and forward it to the Consul of the nation 
to which the foreigner belongs, and then it is applied 
for when required, that functionary being expected to 
inform the police of any reasons which may exist to 
render the traveller's stay unadvisable. 

We drove to an hotel, which was very different in ap- 
pearance from the establishments bearing that name in 
other countries, and we soon discovered that in comfort it 
was altogether inadequate to its professed purpose of 
serving as a temporary home to wayfarers. Two large 
courtyards were surrounded by ranges of buildings, which 
consisted in stables below and rooms above, all of the 
latter being accessible by a long open gallery. There was 
very little furniture in them, and, what there was, of the 
worst description. No attendance, and yet the charges 
as high as those of the Hotel Meurice in Paris. There 
was nothing better to be found, however, and we were 
obliged to make the best of it. 

Bucharest has a peculiar idiosyncrasy of its own. 
Carriages, for instance, are considered a luxury else- 
where, but here they are one of the necessaries of life, 
and feet are the superfluity ; for in summer, the dust, 
and in winter, the mud, totally preclude the possibility 
of walking in the streets; while, even did neither of 
these evils exist, the danger of being driven over would 
make it equally difficult, as there are no trottoirs for 
foot-passengers. There is, however, every facility for 
hiring carriages, as there are innumerable small open 
vehicles in attendance at central points, and a fixed 
tariff of payments. The coachmen never ask whither 
they are required to drive, but, as soon as any one 


jumps into their carriage, off they start, and the 
passengers are expected to steer their course by hitting 
them with their cane on the right or the left arm, 
according to the turn which they desire to take, and 
a poke in the middle of the back makes them stop. 
The streets are exceedingly narrow, atrociously ill-paved, 
and most irregular, the houses being in different lines 
with corners jutting out, and gable ends protruding 
half-way across the thoroughfares. They are always 
in a state of unimaginable filth, heaps of rubbish lying* 
about in all directions, and huge waggons with their 
oxen and buffaloes standing for days together in one 
spot. Many of the houses are large and handsome, but 
wretched huts and booths may generally be seen in 
their immediate neighbourhood; prodigal splendour, 
and squalid misery, jostling each other in all directions ; 
and wealth, attained by doubtful means, squandered in 
ostentation, without the slightest regard for the welfare 
of those dependent on its possessors. The great number 
of trees, which are everywhere visible in the town, 
enliven its appearance, however, and give it the aspect 
of an assemblage of villas ; for most of these costly 
mansions have extensive gardens, and the area occupied 
is thus sufficiently great for a city of three times its 
population, which is little more than 100,000 in- 
habitants, while the circumference of its boundaries is 
said to be twelve English miles. A large portion of 
Bucharest was burnt down three years ago, and ruined 
houses are still seen, with their blackened walls and 
fallen beams half consumed as they were left by the 
conflagration, and in some places great open spaces are 


found, where thickly peopled streets and lanes once 
stood. This will give it a chance of being built in 
a better style than it was, and regularity may be 
introduced in the new lines of building, some of which 
are exceedingly handsome, though hardly finished. 

The bridges across the small river Dumbovitza, which 
traverses the town, are the most singular specimens 
of their kind I ever saw, being scarcely raised above 
the surface of the water, and constructed of wood in the 
rudest manner. No less than 200 churches are scattered 
among the houses, most of them with tin-covered steeples, 
and some- almost picturesque from the quaint figures of 
saints painted on their external walls ; open cemeteries 
usually surround them, and the stone crosses, marking the 
graves, are often curiously chiselled. There are public 
gardens, too, attractive to children and nursery maids by 
rough imitations of Astley's and Franconi's in the open 
air, and frequented by the high society of the place on 
Sunday evenings, when military bands are in attendance. 
But the most fashionable promenade is outside the town, 
where shrubberies have been planted on each side of 
the public road, and walks have been cut in them, not 
without taste. Hundreds of gay equipages drive up and 
down there daily, while their occupants show their last 
new bonnets, and inhale their respective shares of dust ; 
but hardly any one seeks air, shade, and exercise, in the 
extensive grounds on either side. 

I made the acquaintance of most of the principal per- 
sonages of Bucharest, to whom I was presented by our 
acting Consul-general, Mr. Effingham Grant. I found 
several of these agreeable, and visited them often. I had 



also frequent opportunities of seeing His Highness Prince 
Stirbey, who is affable in the extreme. He talks on the 
state of the country with much ease, being thoroughly 
versed in the French language, in which his expres- 
sions are well chosen, and even eloquent ; and he cour- 
teously professes to feel the greatest degree of satisfaction 
in becoming acquainted with Englishmen. He is a man 
of middle age and distinguished appearance; quick in 
manner, and highly gifted with the talent of talking on 
any subject of conversation which may chance to be 

The most alarming accounts of the revolution in Bul- 
garia, as it was called at Bucharest, being now in circu- 
lation, I determined on going there immediately to 
ascertain the truth. We had made some agreeable 
acquaintances during the few days we had been in the 
che/'lieu of Wallachia, and I therefore contemplated 
leaving the remainder of my party at the hotel, with less 
anxiety on their account, and hurriedly made preparations 
for my jom-ney, accompanied only by a Greek servant, 
whom I engaged in favour of his knowledge of the Wal- 
lachian, Bulgarian, and Turkish languages. 




Again I had consigned myself to the tender mercies of 
a cart without springs, and, through the vigorous exer- 
tions of six post-horses, was speeding rapidly over the 
rich plains of Wallachia. This time I had no cruel 
trunks and portmanteaus to hammer, punch, and drill 
their corners into my back as I jolted along, and a 
friendly carpet-bag alone contained my wardrobe, and 
took its place among a host of pillows on which I 
reclined at full length, not altogether dissatisfied with my 
mode of locomotion, for I had gained experience, and had 
found out how to make the most of cart-travelling. The 
pace was good ; I calculated that we went steadily over 
the ground at the rate of twelve or thirteen miles an 
hour ; and little time was lost in the changing of horses. 
That was a singular process, to be sure. We galloped 
into a large fold of hurdles, in which a mud cottage and 
a long shed or two generally stood. Shouts for horses 
were raised on all sides ; and a boy would spring on a 
bare-backed pony, and scour the plain in search of them. 
Attracted by the sound of bells which they bear for that 


purpose, he would at last find a herd of them, and 
screaming and shouting, he would drive them before him 
at a smart gallop into the fold. The TshausJi, or Serjeant 
of the post-station, would in the meantime have detached 
and turned loose the horses that brought us, and, after 
carefully laying a number of ropes on the ground, with 
their ends tied to the spUnter-bars, he would select from 
the herd the six thin and shaggy brutes which were 
destined to drag us to the next post-house. One by one 
he would place them within their traces, which he would 
raise, and pass the double strap serving as a collar over 
their heads ; a rope round their necks and passed through 
their mouths, was the only bridle ; a sheepskin girthed on 
the near wheeler, served as a saddle ; and a lad thrown 
upon it, with a long whip in his hand, completed our 
equipment. A shout from the Tshaush, a scream from 
the postilion, and off we set full gallop to the next fold, 
where the same manoeuvre was repeated. Sometimes a 
horse would knock up on the way ; but that was a mere 
trifle, he was turned adrift to graze, and we drove on as 
if nothing had happened ; and thus, on a long stage, we 
would occasionally arrive with three or four horses, after 
having started with six. 

The great number of young men w^hom I saw lounging 
about the stations induced me to ask if they were all 
postihons, and I was answered in the affirmative, because 
when so employed they escaped being pressed into the 
mihtary service. I could not understand what Wal- 
lachia has to do w^th an army ; surely a province of the 
Turkish empire would never be called upon to make war 
on its own account, and a corps of ^ens cVarmeB would 


suffice for police purposes ; but on the contrary there are, 
besides the latter, three regiments of regular Infantry, 
and one of Lancers. 

We crossed the river Ardjish on a bridge of boats of 
the most rude construction, at the small village of Prezi- 
cheni, and continued our rapid course across the bound- 
less plain ; now traversing a vast forest of oaks, and now- 
passing between interminable fields of maize ; with an 
occasional hamlet of miserable cabins, half subterraneous, 
presenting the aspect of mounds of earth, and open at 
one side where a treUis of branches covered the door. 
The roads were merely tracks, formed by the long lines of 
rough waggons, laden principally with firewood and drawn 
by six or eight oxen, which we frequently passed ; and they 
were the broadest roads I ever saw, for in some places 
they seemed to occupy a space of at least a quarter of a 
mile between the fields or forest. When we overtook or 
met these waggons, the postilions would not go out of 
their way, but at a great distance raised a long shrill cry, 
dismal as a steam whistle, and then the Wallachian boors 
would tumble out of their carts on all sides, apparently 
starting from their sleep, and goad their cattle or buffa- 
loes, until they got beyond the reach of the postilion's 
whip, as we flew past them. 

When we stopped at Klechian, I remarked two strap- 
ping fellows, armed to the teeth, who were traveUing on 
a sort of four-wheeled truck, no larger than* a tea-tray, 
and as low as a wheelbarrow, about which there was not 
a morsel of iron, — ^the wheels were not bound, the axles 
were of wood, and even the linch-pins seemed to have 
been cut from the trees on the road-side. This was a 


Wallachian post-chaise, and its occupants, who were sit- 
ting on straw, were country policemen, going their rounds 
with four post-horses. I entered the habitation of the 
Captain of the Station, — ^for they all have military titles, 
from the postmaster to the hostler ; it was a cottage made 
of wattled branches plastered with mud ; furniture there 
was none ; and its only inmate was a dirty baby, in a 
cradle of wood scooped out ; the poor thing was swad- 
dled, struggling to release its arms from the filthy and 
cruel strait- waistcoat, and roaring : I unloosed the 
bandages, and it soon ceased crying and fell asleep, to the 
uttei^'horror of some people standing at the door, who 
seemed to think I had killed it. I left them to study 
this lesson in nursery management, and resumed my seat 
in my cart, to be hurried over another twelve miles' 
stage within the hour. Some of the stages were much 
shorter, however, and we left Arambatz, Lada, and 
Tekutch behind us in no time ; although the postilions 
stopped half way to breathe their horses, whatever might 
be the distance, and thus lost a few minutes at every 

At Tekutch, a large village with several good cottages 
and a grocer's shop, which is an immense advance of 
civilization for Wallachia, I saw a large and handsome 
dwelling — the country-seat of the proprietor of the village 
— villagers, fields, and live-stock, in the neighbourhood. 
They have a strange notion of a country-house in Wal- 
lachia. They build a splendid mansion, not on the 
banks of the river which winds through the fields there, 
nor on the borders of that old oak wood, nor on the 
rising ground which must command so fine a view 


towards the south; but in the centre of their poor, 
squalid, filthy assemblage of huts, which they call a 
village ; surrounded by pools of stagnant mud, which 
may suit the tastes of their swine, buffaloes, geese and 
ducks, but certainly do not form a picturesque object in 
the science of landscape gardening; and without a 
single tree whose grateful shade can be sought in the 
sultry days of a southern summer. No vestige of a 
garden ; no lawn ; neither walks, nor rides, nor drives ; 
and not a seat nor rustic arbour to go to with a book. 
And this they call a country-house ; and, what is worse, 
they go to live in it too, and think it very delightful, 
because they have spent a large sum of money in build- 
ing it. I beg the gentleman's pardon for daring to 
say a word against his good taste, but, as I did not 
even ask the name of the lord of Tekutch, he cannot 
take it as personal to him, and will, I hope, appropriate 
to himself only his share of the criticism which I venture 
to bestow on the class to which he belongs. There are, 
however, a few exceptions, and I hope soon to have the 
pleasure of recording more than one, as I have accepted 
invitations to country-houses, where I am told everything 
is in a very different style. 

Stoboreste was the next post, and after that we came 
to Mirtesti, without much change in the scenery, but 
there the ground became more broken, and the road less 
monotonous. As we galloped down a steep hill, the 
horses laying their feet to the ground as fast as they 
possibly could, and the cart tumbling and tossing from 
side to side most fearfully with no drag on, we came 
upon a herd of cows, some of which were in the 

SLATINA. • 221 

middle of the road, and had not time to get out of the 
way. The postiUon charged them with a wild scream, 
and cracking his whip over his head. I thought an 
upset inevitable, and was placing the cushions so as to 
avoid contusions, while I calculated that at least two or 
three cows must be killed; we jostled through them, 
knocking against them, and swerving to the other side 
after each blow ; but the Berrugee, or post-boy, never 
looked round to ascertain whether the cart were still on 
its wheels or on its side. At last one cow was taken 
between two of the four leaders ; it was thrown down by 
the end of the pole ; and it rolled over their slackened 
traces, while the wheel-horse jumped over it as it lay 
on its back in the middle of the road. I looked round 
when we had passed, and I saw it get up and shake 
itself, none the worse, but apparently much astonished 
by this interruption to its tranquil chewing of the cud. 

At Mirtesti I saw a flour-mill worked by four oxen, 
which was a most clumsy proceeding, and required an 
extensive building, as the circle in which they turned 
was necessarily of very great diameter, to suit their slow 
and awkward movements. The corn was being threshed, 
or rather trampled out, by horses galloping on it round 
a pole in the open air. 

We changed horses after that, at a considerable town 
called Slatina, where neat European looking houses and 
churches of some size transported us suddenly five hun- 
dred miles to the west of the miserable villages through 
which we had been travelling. It is perched on the 
high bank of the river Olto or Aluta, over which a solid 
and handsome wooden bridge led us to a richly wooded 

222 ' CRAJOVA. 

plain, which is bounded at a few miles' distance by 
another range of low hills, overhanging the river Ollez. 
We crossed this stream at Mirda, where we changed 
horses, and entered Little Wallachia. Here everything 
assumed a different aspect ; the roads were raised and 
macadamised, the villages were composed of neat cottages, 
plastered with lime and thatched with straw, and the 
country was hilly and picturesque. One felt the vicinity 
of Germany, and the influence of the quiet, industrious 
habits of the western neighbours of the Wallachians. 

Another stage brought us to the capital of this 
province, which is the town of Crajova. It was late at 
night, and as I had thus travelled twenty-eight hours 
without stopping, it may well be supposed that I was 
not a little fatigued, considering the never-to-be-forgotten 
neglect of springs and road-making by the Wallachians, 
together with their furious manner of driving. We 
lingered on through long lines of ill-paved streets, w^hich, 
by the way, were lit with tallow-candles, and I thought 
we never should reach our inn. I found it much better 
than I expected, however, when I did get into it, and 
infinitely superior to the hotels of Bucharest. 

A good, though short, night's rest restored my strength, 
and I was up at daylight, much to the despair of my 
attendant Pietro, who had calculated on a longer respite 
from the sufferings of the waggon ; but I was impatient 
to get to the other side of the Danube, and the horses 
were ordered. On leaving Crajova we soon reached 
the river Syll : here was neither bridge nor ford, but a 
large raft, on which the cart and six horses were to cross 
without being disconnected. Pietro alighted, saying that 


he would rather trust to his own feet on the raft, and 
advising me to do the same, but I was recUning so com- 
fortably on my cushions and straw, that I told him they 
might drive me where they liked. I would not move. 

Several large waggons were standing at the landing 
place, having been just disembarked. The postilion 
cracked his whip and commenced describing a circuit on 
the muddy bank of the river, in order to reach the raft 
by going round them. We had not gone far, however, 
when the small hoofs of the horses began to sink ; the 
driver tried to flog them through it, but his own horse 
soon disappeared in the soft mud, leaving only the head 
and neck and the pommel of the saddle visible : he got 
on the pole, the end of which rested on some harder 
ground, and I thought it time to sit up and look about 
me, as a black and liquid matter was oozing through the 
bottom of the cart. The postilion did not seem to think 
of me, but pulling out his knife, cut all the traces, sprang 
on one of the leaders which had not sunk deeper than its 
knees, and after much dragging and shouting, he extri- 
cated his horses and left me to my fate. 

Pietro stood looking at me from a distance, without 
making any exertions in my favour, and I think the 
scoundrel even had the heart to laugh, when I called to 
him to do something for me. At last I was saved from 
the wreck, not in a life-boat, but on the Atlas-hke 
shoulders of a stalwart Wallachian boor, who waded 
through the mud with his huge flat feet spreading on it 
like those of a duck, and conveyed me to dry land, after 
the fashion of ^Eneas and Anchises. With the help of 
ropes and beams the cart was got out, and the horses 


were harnessed to it again ; we crossed the river on the 
raft, and continued our journey. 

After changing horses at two isolated post-houses, and 
after having travelled for a couple of hours through a 
splendid forest, we reached a vast open plain, arid and 
burnt up by the intolerable heat of the sun. As we 
proceeded a not unpleasant odour reached my nostrils, 
especially promising to a famished wayfarer, for we had 
not yet breakfasted, but it was certainly rather unexpected 
in the centre of a barren and inhospitable steppe : it was 
unmistakeably the smell of good roast meat, as it is 
turned by a patent smoke-jack, crackling, and hissing, 
and dripping before a glorious fire. I looked about me 
in wonder, but nothing was to be seen. I soon con- 
cluded that I must have been mistaken, as the odour 
was no longer distinguishable ; but again it tickled my 
olfactory nerves with more pungent reality than before. 
This time I could not be deceived ; what could it be ? 
Pietro was asleep ; so I tried the few words of Wallachian 
which I could master, and asked the Serrugee what it 
was. He seemed to understand the question, but I did not 
understand the answer, which was long and emphatic. 

One magical word, however, was not unknown to me, 
as, like many others in that language, it bore a strong 
resemblance to the Italian term ; that word was, pork. 
Pork ! Roast pork ! thought I. Well, roast pork is not 
a bad thing, especially when one is so very hungry. And 
I looked about me again ; the smell was repeated, and I 
saw at a little distance several groups of peasants, beside 
a number of fires. 

The Wallachians must be excessively fond of roast 


pork to be cooking it at every twenty yards along the 
road, said I to myself; I wonder if they would let me 
join their feast. I was reflecting how this could be done, 
and endeavouring to awaken Pietro, when we passed one 
of the fires close to the road ; an immense hog was being 
roasted whole, but there was nothing festive in the 
demeanour of four men who were beside it. One sat 
on the ground with his head between his knees, the 
very image of despair, two others gazed at us with mute 
grief depicted on their countenance, and the fourth was 
sighing and groaning as he stirred the embers mourn- 
fully. This was altogether inexplicable, and I made the 
postilion pull up, that I might inquire into the meaning of 
the mystery. It was soon solved with Pietro's help ; a herd 
of fat swine had been removed on the previous day from the 
marshes of the Danube on their way to a fair in Hungary ; 
the heat of the weather, and the want of water on this 
plain, had killed them all while crossing it ; and the pro- 
prietors were now melting them down to save the lard. 

There they were, to be sure ; we saw them lying about 
as we drove on ; 300 carcases of the unclean animals 
strewed in all directions, many of them having apparently 
died under the stunted bushes, where they had sought 
shelter from the scorching rays of the midday sun. 

Two more stages, Cioroiul and Scripetal, and we 
reached the small town of Calafat on the left bank of 
the Danube. Nearly opposite stood Widin, the Virgin 
Fort, as the Turks call it, from its never having been 
taken ; but from the appearance of the fortifications I 
concluded that it had remained an old maid, like 
many others of that respected class, merely because no 

VOL. I. Q 

226 wiuiN. 

very serious offer had been made. Calafat is a wretched 
place, and I got out of it as soon as I could procure a 
boat to cross the great river. We floated along with the 
current a little way, as the capital of Upper Bulgaria 
lies lower down the stream, and then pulled vigorously 

Amongst others who had shown me attention at 
Bucharest, and whom I went to take leave of when 
I was about to start on this excursion, was Ahmed 
Vefyk Ejffendi, the Turkish Commissioner of the Danu- 
bian Provinces : he asked me to carry despatches for 
him to the Pasha of Widin, which I wilHngly consented 
to do; and on reaching the town I now directed the 
boatmen to land me at the stairs leading from the river 
to the Pasha's palace. They did so, and we entered a 
large court-yard, surrounded by ranges of dilapidated 
buildings, with open verandahs and a broad stone stair- 
case in the centre of each. Here were neither custom- 
houses nor quarantines, nor examinations of passports, 
nor waiting an hour for admittance, nor police imper- 
tinences ; the Turks are above all that sort of thing. 

On reaching the principal verandah, we found some 
soldiers lounging there, and Pietro addressing himself to 
one of them, we asked if we could see the Pasha. This 
bold proposition met with an astonished negative ; and 
then we suggested that one of the household officers 
should be called. A strange slouching figure appeared ; 
we told him that I had despatches for the Pasha. He 
showed us into a room where at least a dozen Turks, 
Albanians, and negroes were lying on a long divan. 
They all rose, and I seated myself in the corner of 

wiDiN. 227 

honour which was poHtely offered me. A conversation 
commenced with them through the medium of the trusty 
Pietro; and I learnt that the Pasha had not left his 
harem, but that he would probably soon be visible. After 
a short while, a Turk came to the door, and beckoned to 
us to follow him. We traversed several long passages 
with broken steps here and there, and brick floors, 
uneven and much out of repair ; and at last we reached 
a room into which we were ushered with great ceremony. 
A handsome young man of four or five and twenty was 
sitting cross-legged on the low sofa, and at a little dis- 
tance sat bolt upright an elderly Turk with a long 
beard. This must be the Pasha, I thought ; and I was 
addressing to him my opening speech for Pietro to 
translate, when to my great astonishment he suddenly 
got up, as if moved by springs, and fell on his knees 
before the young man, who motioned to him to rise. 
They then exchanged the oriental salutation of lowering 
their right hands to the floor, and touching their mouths 
and foreheads, and the supposed Pasha shuffled out of the 
room without taking the slightest notice of me. Then 
the young man must be the Pasha, I presumed ; and to 
him I handed my despatches. He took them, and, 
having looked gravely at the directions and the seals, he 
returned them to me, motioning to me at the same time 
to be seated. I thought this very strange, and I bade 
Pietro ask the young Turk what he meant. He replied 
that the Pasha would let me know when he was ready 
to receive me. I then inquired who he w^as, and I was 
told that he was the Divan Effendi, or chief secretary. 
Pipes and coffee were brought, and we conversed, 


through Pietro, on the general politics of Europe, in 
which I was surprised to find that he was well versed. 

At last the Pasha intimated his desire to see me, and 
we were taken to his reception-room, where he was 
sitting smoking a narguiU. He was a middle-aged 
man, with an agreeable countenance, dressed in the 
modern costume of Turkey, which is an imitation of that 
of Western Europe ; and he was most courteous in 
manner. The Pasha asked Pietro if he was my drago- 
man, or interpreter ; the sly dog would not answer until 
he had communicated the important question to me, and 
when I had answered in the affirmative, the Pasha 
requested him to sit down on a chair opposite us, which 
Pietro did with an air of unmitigated satisfaction. The 
Pasha then commenced the conversation by saying how 
much he regretted his own ignorance of the English 
or Erench languages, but he hoped that we should not be 
the less cordial in our acquaintance on that account; 
and then, after offering me a pipe and coffee, he broke 
the seals of the despatches which I had given him. 
After reading one of the letters, he looked up suddenly, 
and begged me to excuse the question he was about 
to put, but we lived in such strange times that no 
precaution was unnecessary, and he would be obliged to 
me if I would tell him my name. I did so, and he com- 
pared it with what was written in the letters. Having 
apparently satisfied himself on that subject, he asked me 
if I would be his guest, or if I preferred living in 
the house of a Christian ? I answered, that - 1 w^ould 
never be so rude as to decline his invitation and accept 
that of any one else; and he then sent to let his son-in- 



law, Halil Bey, know that a musaphir, or visitor, would 
occupy his rooms. After a short discussion on the late 
disturbances in Upper Bulgaria, I rose and left him, 
having thanked him for his repeated injunctions to con- 
sider his Iconak, or palace, as my own. 

I was conducted to the same room which I had first 
entered, and which proved to be the antechamber of 
Halil Bey's apartments ; and the Turks, Albanians, 
and negroes, with whom I had conversed were his at- 
tendants. They now received me with the greatest 
respect and humility, and fell back easily to their posi- 
tion as servants and slaves. I was shown into the inner 
room, where a lad of sixteen was sitting. This was Halil 
Bey, of Bittolia in Macedonia, who was betrothed, but 
not yet married, to the Pasha's daughter, a lovely young 
girl, as I was told, of twelve years of age ; and their 
wedding was to take place in a few days, when the 
Bamazan, or Lenten season, should have ceased. The 
youthful bridegroom- elect was also most uncommonly 
handsome, with a noble countenance, and a slight and 
graceful figure ; his small white hands were perfect 
models for a sculptor ; and his large expressive eyes were 
more those of a beautiful woman than of a young man. 
He rose with unaffected simplicity, and, seating me 
in the favoured corner, took his place further down the 
low couch, bidding me welcome, and saying that he hoped 
I would consider his apartments as my home, and his 
attendants as my slaves. All this was accompanied with 
a degree of gentlemanly familiarity which struck me as a 
proof either of a finished education or of a thoroughly 
good heart. He told me that, although no Osmanli 


could break his fast until sunset during the Hamazan, 
that did not prevent him from recollecting that those 
belonging to other persuasions might not only feel 
hungry, as he did, but might also satisfy their appetites 
without infringing their religious duties ; and he begged 
me to give my orders freely to one of my slaves in 
the next room when I felt disposed to eat. And then, 
lowering his hand to the ground and raisii^g it to 
his lips and forehead, he glided out of the room pro- 
nouncing the word raliat, which means, rest. 

I heard him giving orders as he passed through the ante- 
chamber, and as soon as he was gone, a negro appeared 
with a basin and ewer of Turkish fashion, and, kneeling 
before me, poured water on my hands ; an Albanian en- 
tered with a nar guile, or hookah, as it is called in India, 
which is certainly the most perfect manner in which to- 
bacco can be smoked ; and three Turks came last, one of 
them bearing a tray covered with a richly embroidered 
cloth ; this was raised by another and put on his shoul- 
der ; a third took a small china cup and the siver filagree 
zarph, or holder; and the first having filled it with 
coffee, it was handed to me. Then came the most deli- 
cious iced sherbet ; and all this was done with an air of 
as grave respect by my quondam companions in the 
ante-room, as if they had never set eyes on me before. 
After some time, I began tp think that something more 
solid might not be amiss, considering that I had no 
Bamazan to keep, and I hinted as much to Pietro. He 
called an attendant, and gave some orders in Turkish, 
with an air of grandeur v/hich made me laugh in spite of 
myself; but, when the Turk was gone, Pietro's air of 



humble reproach made me regret my want of command 
over the muscles of my physiognomy, so much did the 
poor man seem to feel it. A small table was soon 
brought, with a large silver tray on it. The hand-wash- 
ing-and-kneeling process was again gone through, and I 
remarked that the Albanian also knelt to Pietro ; but he 
cast such a deprecating glance at me that I succeeded in 
keeping my gravity this time. A china bowl of soup 
was placed on the tray, and two spoons put opposite 
each other. 

" I wonder who is going to dine with me ? " I said to 

" I am ! " replied he. 

" The deuce you are ! " 

" Por heaven's sake, master," said he, " do not dis- 
grace me. It is no want of respect on my part ; but if 
the Pasha hears that I did not dine with you, after 
he made me sit down and gave me a pipe, he will be 
furious, and he will never see you again, either." 

'* Why not? Does he not know that you are my 
servant ? " 

" No, sir ; you said yourself that I was your dragoman^ 
and a dragoman is always looked upon as a gentleman 
in Turkey. I'll clean your boots again, and wait on you 
when we go to the other side of the Danube; but I 
beseech you, let me dine with you now." 

I was sitting on the divan during this conversation, 
and Pietro explained the delay to the Turks by saying 
that I did not like my soup too hot, and then he moved 
towards the table with a supplicating look which I could 
not resist, and we sat down together. After tasting of 


at least five-and-twenty dishes, all exquisitely prepared, 
though sweetmeats and vegetables, jellies and stews, were 
served in a singular species of alternation, we again had 
our hands washed, and resumed our pipes, Pietro taking 
his this time with an air of triumph. One of the Pasha's 
servants, who was a Greek slave, then appeared, and 
said to me in his native language, — "His Excellency 
Zia Pasha begs to know if the most noble General would 
feel disposed to go and see Ali Risa Pasha, the Com- 
mander of the Forces, who is an officer of the same rank 
as the noble General ; and if so, the horses are ready for 
the General and his dragoman." 

" What General do you mean? " I said; but Pietro sud- 
denly interrupted me by coughing violently, and when I 
looked at him, he winked to me in the most significant 
manner. I was too angry to laugh, and regardless of 
the presence of the Pasha's servant, who understood 
Greek, I asked him if he had been playing off any of his 
confounded tricks with the Pasha, by taking advantage 
of my not understanding Turkish. 

" No, indeed, master," he said, half crying ; " I told 
the Pasha nothing but what you bade me ; but I was 
speaking to my fellow countryman here, and — " 

"And what?" 

" And I told him that— " 

" That what ? speak it out at once." 

" That you are a General, sir." 

" And did you tell the Pasha that I am a General? " 
I asked of the Greek servant. 

" No, sir," he replied • " I did not tell any one." 

"And how did the Pasha bid you come to me ? " 


** He told me to go to the English gentleman." 

" Very well," I said ; " recollect that I have no other 
title. Tell the Pasha that I am ready to go to the Com- 
mander of the Forces. And you, Pietro, let me have no 
more of your nonsense." 

I do not know how they settled the matter together, 
but Pietro followed the Greek, and I heard them talking 
in the most animated manner in the other room. I was 
always call ad the Beyzade, after this, and I believe that 
term is used by the Turks to qualify a foreign gentleman 
who has no other title, although he may not be the son 
of a Bey, as the words imply. 

A gallant grey, covered with magnificent housings, 
was led to the door for me, and another, less splendidly 
equipped, was prepared for Pietro. We mounted, and 
rode tlirough the streets, accompanied by three or four 
grooms on foot, as is the practice in Turkey. In the 
bazaar every one rose from their carpets in the booths as 
we passed, and the most elaborate salaams were performed 
in our honour. I gave a hint with the spur to the noble 
charger of the Pasha, that all this obeisance was intended 
more for him than for his rider'^ but he seemed to be too 
much accustomed to that sort of thing to take any 
notice of it, and I was obliged to respond myself; so 
I caracoUed through the streets, bowing to the people in 
the most approved fashion of popularity-loving sovereigns. 
When we reached the honah of Ali Risa Pasha, I found 
that I was expected, and I was shown into a room where 
no less than three Pashas were assembled. The Com- 
mander of the Forces was a Perik Pasha, or Lieutenant- 
general, who had been sent from Constantinople to take 



command of the troops in Upper Bulgaria, in consequeiice 
of the recent insurrections. He was a short and very fat 
old man, with an exceedingly intelligent countenance and 
blunt manner; he is said to be a distinguished and talented 
general. Beside him were Mustapha Pasha and Ismael 
Pasha, each of them being a General of Brigade; the 
former having risen to his present rank in the artillery, 
and the latter in the cavalry. Mustapha Pasha was also 
stout, but younger than Ali Risa Pasha ; he seemed to 
be very silent, but spoke sensibly when he did join in 
the conversation. Ismael Pasha was middle-aged, thin, 
and active in figure, with quick eyes, and a lively way of 
talking, which, with the kind expression of his counte- 
nance, made him as agreeable a companion as could be 
to one who was obliged to communicate with him by an 
interpreter. He has been long in contact with Euro- 
peans, and shows it by the easy familiarity of his conver- 
sation. They were all three under Zia Pasha, the 
Governor of Widin, who has the rank of Vezir, or a 
Pasha of three tails. We talked for some time on the 
subject of the great change which has been produced in 
the Turkish army by its regular organization, and, from 
the details I heard, it appears to be thoroughly disci- 
plined. It is recruited by the drawing of lots, and this 
system seems to work well. 

The Perik Pasha, or Lieutenant-general, offered me an 
escort when I mentioned my intention of visiting the 
interior of the country, as he said it was still in rather 
an unsettled state. After thanking him for his offer and 
accepting it, I took leave of them, and Ismael Pasha 
told me he would meet me at Belgradgik. 


I then directed our grooms to guide us to the house 
of the Metropolitan Bishop, whom I wished to see, after 
having heard of him, as it was a curious study to observe 
the game he was playing. There could be no doubt of 
his being secretly a Russian agent, as most of the Greek 
clergy are ; and his civility towards the Turks seemed 
to indicate, as I was told, that the reverend Prelate 
managed to have two strings to his bow. On this occa- 
sion, however, I was disappointed, as I did not find him 
at home ; but I could not regret my having gone to his 
house, which was in the suburbs, for I thus had an 
opportunity of seeing the greater part of the town and 
fortifications. The latter were built by Sultan Ahmed 
about three centuries ago, and I should think their 
defences would not prove efficient in modern warfare, 
as the ramparts were low, the curtains so long that they 
were out of all proportion, and the bastions apparently 
weak ; the great breadth of the ditch, however, and the 
plentiful supply of water from the Danube, by which the 
walls were completely surrounded, would give them a 
degree of strength in any assault not directed by skilful 
engineers ; and the impossibility of mining, which is the 
great resource of sieges in the East, would render the 
place defensible in an insurrection of the natives, though 
it could not stand a day before the attack of a regular 
army with heavy artillery, and a good corps of sappers. 

As it was still early, I determined to take a Turkish 
bath. On my way to the hamam, I met a bearded and 
hirsute horseman in the European dress, wearing a 
sword at his side, and with two pistols at each of his 
saddle bows : beside him rode a lady in the costume of 


a Smyrniote Greek, with the tight emhroidered jacket, 
and gauze kerchief on her head. Her uncovered face 
contrasted with the spectre-hke accoutrements of the 
Turkish women in the streets, whose eyes alone were 
visible ; and her attitude on horseback, which was neither 
that of our side-saddle, nor of the Eastern pad on which 
ladies ride as in an arm-chair, but was simply identical 
with that of the gentleman, seemed to strike horror into 
the astonished minds of the decorum-loving Turks, who 
gazed at her as she passed with an expression of indig- 
nant surprise. In passing us, they bowed, saying, 
" Bon jour, Monsieur ;" and when I had returned their 
salutation, I bade Pietro inquire who they were. The prin- 
cipal groom told us that the gentleman was an English 
doctor, just arrived with his wife, who was a Greek. 

On the following day, he called at the honah to see 
me, and when I addressed him in English, he replied 
in Italian that he was a British subject, having been 
born at Malta; but that he w^as of Italian parents, 
and spoke no other language. He told me his history, 
which I find is not an uncommon one in Turkey : having 
failed in trade, he was taken by an Italian medical man 
as his assistant and apprentice during a professional tour 
in the East; when the doctor returned to Italy, the 
apprentice remained in Turkey, and set up on his own 
account, although he had not studied more than the 
practice of his principal gave him the opportunity ; he 
was appointed surgeon to a Turkish regiment, and he 
married a widow with some money; and he was now 
a distinguished physician, favoured and protected by the 
Turks, courted by the Bayas, and amassing a fortune 

THE BATH. 237 

by his extensive practice among both classes. He gave 
me much information on the state of the countrv, which, 
by his account, was as bad as can well be imagined, 
and too bad to be believed. I left the Turkish bath, 
where I had undergone the whole process of elaborate 
cleanliness with feelings of greater surprise and repug- 
nance than satisfaction, to the utter astonishment of 
Pietro, who enjoyed above measure the privilege of join- 
ing several of the aristocracy of Widin in these public 
ablutions, and who had now succeeded in establishing 
a footing of equality between us, which he kept constantly 
assuring me would cease as soon as we should return 
to the other side of the Danube, and which had now 
become a source of unalloyed amusement to me. He 
was inimitable when reclining languidly after his bath, 
with a napkin tied round his ugly old head like a turban, 
and a long pipe in his hand, ordering every one about, 
and looking as dignified as the Great Mogul. If he 
caught my eye expressing more of mockery than of 
respect, he would whisper in Greek, — 

" For Heaven's sake, master, be cautious. Think how 
furious the Pasha would be if he found us out." 

And he would expatiate pleasantly on the tortures 
w^hich would await us in that event, making me his 
accomplice in the fraud, which my ignorance and his 
vanity had together committed. 

Shortly after we returned to the konak, the Pasha 
sent to inform me that dinner was ready. Pietro 
jumped up. 

" Come, come," said I, " this is going too far ; you 
do not surely expect to dine with the Pasha ?" 


" And how can you speak to him without me, Sir?'* 
" Never mind that," I replied, " I would rather not 
speak at all, than take my servant to sit at his table." 
" And is your servant not to have anything to eat?" 
" I dare say they will take care of you," said I, as 
I left him in the worst of humours ; and I heard after- 
wards that the impostor had accepted the invitation of 
the Divan EfFendi, with whom he dined, in company 
with Halil Bey. 

The Pasha seemed to appreciate the feeling of respect 
which had induced me not to bring my dragoman, 
although he was not aware of the full extent of the indis- 
cretion of which I should have been guilty had I done 
so, for he made no inquiries, but merely selected the 
Greek slave from among twenty or thirty attendants, 
and bade him stand behind my chair to minister to my 
wants. There were above a dozen guests ; the Pasha 
sat on the divan, and told the Greek to ask me whether 
I would sit on his left on a chair. I recollected certain 
pains and cramps in the knees which I had already 
suffered in my attempts to sit like the ninth part of a 
man, and I preferred the chair. The others took their 
seats round the table, with the exception of one poor 
sneaking Turk, who was evidently the lowest in rank, 
and whose place was occupied by the derangement of 
the ceremonial plan which I had introduced by sitting 
on the Pasha's left hand. No one else had dared to 
take the seat of honour on his right, and it alone re- 
mained vacant. When our host perceived the embar- 
rassment of his guest he insisted on his taking that 
place, whispering to the Greek to tell me that he 


honoured misfortune, as this was Fehim Effendi, the 
Governor of Lom-Palanka, who had been dismissed in 
consequence of the riots there, although no fault could 
be ascribed to him. The air of awe and reverei)ce with 
which the hapless ex- Governor sat beside his dread lord 
was most amusing ; he hardly dared to extend his spoon 
or fork towards the solitary dish in which all dipped 
theirs, and he seemed altogether overpowered by the 
unwonted vicinity of Vice-Royalty. 

We had waited in profound silence for at least a 
quarter of an hour, every one looking on the ground, 
until the evening gun fired, and then the Pasha gave 
the signal of attack : a confused skirmish followed, amid 
the continual advance and retreat of dishes ; gaps were 
filled up with amazing rapidity; the carnage and 
slaughter could not possibly be calculated, as the enemy 
always presented a new front, bringing up fresh forces 
to withstand the brunt of the fierce onslaught, which 
thirteen fasting Turks, and a rather famished English- 
man, had directed on that one centre point, until all cried 
" Hold ! enough ! " This general result was not pro- 
duced simultaneously, however, and I admired the good 
sense of the fashion of leaving the table as the appetite 
was satisfied. The Pasha was the first to retire to the 
other end of the divan, where he smoked his pipe after 
the customary ablution. I followed, and then several 
others joined us ; but the engagement continued in the 
distance with undiminished ardour, until the honours of 
the day remained with the cook, whose army of dishes 
was left sole master of the 'field, one of them having 
triumphantly stood some time on the table without a 

240 A STORM. 

single challenge being made to fight. We sat smoking 
and sipping cofiee for some time, a conversation being 
carried on in which I was unable to bear any part; and it 
was not. interrupted until a bright flash of lightning, and 
a tremendous crash of thunder, spread dismay among the 
Osmanlis. The old honak shook to its very foundations ; 
tiles fell, and window-shutters flapped violently ; a storm 
had come down rapidly, and as the casements were open, 
the heavy fall of rain on the waters of the Danube, which 
bathe the walls of the palace, sounded like a second deluge, 
rising to drown the world; while the moaning of the wind, 
engulphed in the long passages and empty halls, simulated 
the lamentations of dying mankind. It was really a 
grand and awful scene, as each gleam of lightning dazzled 
our eyes, and left us to the flickering light of the dim 
candles in the large room, and the pitch darkness with- 
out ; the howling of dogs in the courtyard, the neighing 
of horses in the stable under our feet, and the shrieking 
of storks as they flew heavily along in search of shelter, 
added to its vvildness ; and the hurrying of slaves from 
place to place, intent on securing the rickety old building 
from falling to pieces, presented an image of terror and stu- 
pefaction, which seemed to have invaded even the guests. 
Amid all these majestic convulsions of nature, and 
weak trepidation of men, the Pasha sat calmly smoking 
his pipe, alike regardless of the dangers to be appre- 
hended from the former, and of the fears displayed by 
the latter ; but when his courtiers rose one by one to 
leave the room, and throwing themselves at his feet, 
seemed to kiss the ground before him and touch it with 
their brows, a faint smile would light up his features ; and 

A STORM. 241 

once he cast a quick glance of intelligence to me, ex- 
pressive of his contempt for others, and of his fellow- 
feeling with me because I did not show alarm. We were 
thus soon left alone, and, the Greek having come to refill 
our pipes, we renewed our conversation on the subject of 
the late revolt of the Bulgarians, through his interpreta- 
tion, and the Pasha talked for some time as calmly as 
if he really were unconscious that he was in the most 
imminent danger of being suddenly buried under the 
ruins of his palace, or of seeing it swept away by an 
inundation of the river, which had risen to a most extra- 
ordinary height. As it was getting late, I wished him 
good night and withdrew. The storm was still raging 
with unabated fury ; the lights in the open passages had 
all been extinguished — but I knew my way — and I was 
groping along in the dark towards the apartments of 
Halil Bey, occasionally drenched by the rain pouring 
through a hole in the roof, and knocking my feet against 
fallen tiles, when I calculated that I must have reached 
the staircase ; suddenly my arms were seized on each side, 
and I was literally carried up the stairs and lifted along 
the passage into the rooms which I occupied, where I 
saw two stout Turks, who had performed this friendly 
office for me. It was friendly indeed, as I perceived the 
next morning, for a part of the roof had fallen through 
the floor of the corridor, leaving a trap door, through 
which I must have gone headlong, if Hahl Bey had not 
stationed those two men to take care of me when I 
passed it. 

VOL. I. R 





On the following morning I went to pay my respects 
to the Pasha, whom I found in a delightful Mosque 
overhanging the Danube, whose tranquil waters were 
flowing past in as unruffled a stream as if they had 
never been raised by a tempest. The day was fine, the 
only remains of the storm being a few clouds in the sky, 
and the ground moist and fresh, while the heat of the 
weather was very much diminished. The Mosque was 
open on three sides, and a long divan occupied the 
fourth, on which eight or nine field officers of the army 
were seated, being the suite of Mustapha Pasha, who 
had come to call on the Governor-general. Their 
European uniforms sat uncomfortably on their shapeless 
forms, but they were soldierly looking men, neverthe- 
less ; and several of them bore the reputation of being 
distinguished officers. Most of them had blue coats, 
but I remarked some that wore dark-brown, while the 
trowsers of every one seemed to be according to his 


peculiar corps, most of them being of a pale fawn-colom% 
or violet, or very light blue. Those belonging to the 
cavalry wore braided surtouts, and fixed spurs on their 
patent leather half-boots, which w^ere made so as to be 
taken off with ease at the door, leaving the Turkish 
shpper below them ; and the rank of each in the military 
hierarchy was indicated by the nichan, or order com- 
posed of the star and crescent, which were suspended 
round their necks, being of brilliants among the superior 
officers, and of gold or even silver, when their wearers 
were majors or captains. The sword-belts of all of 
them were richly embroidered. 

I told Zia Pasha of my wish to make a tour in the 
interior, and he answered that a trusty attendant, who 
knew the roads and villages, would be selected to accom- 
pany me, and that I had but to give my orders for 
horses to be prepared, or if I preferred I might go in a 
carriage. This latter offer astonished me, and on leaving 
him I went to see the coach-house, in which I found 
three handsome caleches, evidently of Vienna manu- 
facture ; and to tell the truth, I rather fancied a com- 
fortable drive after ray jolting vehicle of Wallachia. I 
therefore told Halil Bey, when he asked me how I 
wished to go, that, if it were not inconvenient, a carriage 
would be more agreeable than a horse after the fatigues 
of my recent journey ; and he engaged to have every- 
thing ready for me at an early hoiu- on the next day. 

I went out to take a walk in the town, and the first 
object that attracted my attention was the tomb of 
Hussein Pasha at the principal mosque, which reminded 
me of a visit which was paid to him foiu* years ago by 

K 2 


some near relatives of mine, who were on their way up 
the Danube. They saw the rich and powerful Pasha in 
all his splendour ; and here he was now under a great 
stone, bedaubed all over with blue and gold, a twopenny- 
halfpenny gingerbread-looking gilded railing forming a 
dome over his head, and a couple of marigolds planted 
on each side of him. He died little more than a year 
ago the possessor of almost incalculable wealth, as he 
had enjoyed a monopoly of the trade of the province, 
but having done nothing for the improvement of the 
people committed to his charge, and leaving to his 
enlightened successor the seeds of rebellion sown among 
the Christians, and the fibres of reciprocal hatred deeply 
rooted in the hearts of both Christians and Turks. 
Hussein Pasha and Zia Pasha are two specimens of the 
old and the new systems : this was all that the former 
accomplished : the latter is not rich, he does not trade, 
he encourages the industry and enterprise of others 
instead of appropriating the field to himself, and he is 
so conciliating in his manner of dealing with the 
Bulgarians, and so determined with the Turks, that his 
continued administration cannot fail to correct the evils 
of the long reign of fifteen years which his predecessor 

Prom the mosque I went to the port, where a great 
number of large boats were lying ; and, seeing a board 
over a door, announcing that the steamboat office was 
within, I entered. The Agent of the Danube Company 
received me with great politeness, and, after some con- 
versation on the days of sailing, he treated me to a 
narration of the late insurrection, with all its circum' 


stances ; but his hostility to the Turks was so evident 
in everything he said that I could not hear it without 
considerable distrust. I Kstened to all he had to say on 
the subject, however, as I had done when the Pasha and 
the Itahan doctor spoke to me about it, but I suspended 
ray judgment until I should have heard what the 
peasants themselves could tell me. This steamboat 
Agent is also the Vice-Consul of Austria. Russia has 
her secret emissaries ; but England has no one to w^atch 
the intrigues of these two powers in this quarter which 
is so important to Turkey, and consequently interesting 
to Great Britain. A mistaken system of economy may 
sometimes prove prejudicial to the general policy of a 
cabinet which thus deprives itself, from most laudable 
motives, no doubt, of information which might guide it 
in critical circumstances. Here was an insurrection, for 
instance, which E^ussia and Austria made much of, and 
England possesses no means of gaining accurate intel- 
hgence about it. All the trade of Upper Bulgaria comes 
to Widin, Ionian subjects are much engaged in it, as 
well as in the general navigation of the Danube, for 
which this town is one of the principal stations, and, for 
want of a British consular flag to protect them, they 
seek patronage from Austria; and not only do these 
evils arise from the wish to save a few hundreds per 
annum, but the general tendency of one of the richest 
and most influential provinces in European Turkey is 
consequently ignored by our government, which should 
know it, and guide it also ; for I am free to say that in 
Downing Street there is not the most remote idea of the 
existence of a comprehensive estabhshment for the 
Russianziing of Bulgaria, and yet the Foreign Office can 


well appreciate the great importance of such a fact. It 
is by education that this deep-laid scheme is in a course 
of active execution : no less than twenty-one schools have 
been instituted of late in the different towns for this 
purpose ; the teachers have all come from Kiew, in 
Russia. Hatred to the Sultan and attachment to the 
Czar, are assiduously taught ; and their catechism in the 
Sclavonian tongue, which was translated to me, is more 
political than religious, while it openly alludes to the 
incorporation of Bulgaria in the Russian empire. Besides 
this, the propaganda of the Pan Sclavonian Hetairia, and 
the agency of other political interests opposed to those 
of Turkey, are efficiently represented by skilful apostles 
in Bulgaria. 

I had not gone far from the house of the Austrian 
Vice-Consul, when I heard some one hailing me in Italian 
from a window, and, on looking up, I descried my friend 
the Doctor, who pressingly invited me to smoke a pipe 
with him. I wilhngly agreed, and we had another long 
discussion on the circumstances of the revolution, as he 
called it. His account was less prejudiced than that of 
the Austrian agent, but more poetical ; not so malig- 
nant, but a great deal more horrible. I listened to every- 
thing with patience, being aware that I should soon 
know more about it than either of them, as their sources 
of information were confined to Widin, whereas I should 
gather notions, as the Americans say, on the spot where 
the events occurred. 

When I was passing through the bazaar on my way 
to the honah, I saw the gallant grey with his costly trap- 
pings in the hands of the Pasha's groom. 

" Now you see, Sir," said Pietro, " that it is well to 


give the Turks a high opinion of your rank. Here they 
have brought you a horse to ride home." 

" But they seem to have a lower opinion of yours, 
Pietro, than they had yesterday, for I see only one 
horse ;" I replied, to tease him, as I did not share in his 
mistake, for I had discovered the Pasha himself sitting 
in one of the booths on the opposite side of the street 
making purchases, and enjoying his narguile at the same 
time. Pietro was much crest-fallen, but when he saw 
me take off my hat to the Pasha, as I passed, he said to 
me exultingly : 

*' Thank Heaven, the horse was not for you 1" 

The Pasha made a sign to me, putting two fingers of 
one hand astride on one of the other, and looking the 
question why I was not on horseback ; I responded by 
pointing to my feet, and closing my fingers in an upright 
position, which, in the telegraphic language of Oriental 
gesticulation, signified that they were good. He laughed 
loud and long ; and we proceeded homewards. 

On reaching the honak, I found the Metropolitan 
Bishop there. He was a Greek of Constantinople, a 
middle-aged man with a flowing beard, portly withal, 
and seeming to have eschewed none of the good things 
of this world, if he had any of the evil. Our conversa- 
tion naturally turned on the late events, which he described 
altogether difierently from my previous informants, the 
Pasha, the Austrian Vice-Consul, and the Italian Doctor, 
all of whom had represented them according to his espe- 
cial views. I suspected that, of the four versions, that 
of the Turk was the most correct, but I still reserved 
my opinions for further elucidation. The Bishop ^aid 


much against the Turkish government, and I conse- 
quently supposed, he was all on the side of the Christians, 
but I was mistaken ; for when I questioned him about 
the Bulgarian peasantry, he was as violent in his abuse 
of them as he had been lavish in his vituperation of the 
Turks. He affected great piety in his manner, which 
might be sincere, but it was strangely at variance with 
what I had been told of his mode of living. 

A servant announced that the Pasha had returned, 
and would be glad to see us. We went to him. As 
soon as we were seated, he sent for Pietro to interpret, 
but the Bishop offered his services, being probably afraid 
lest I should repeat what he had said to me. Again the 
subject of the disturbances was broached, and the Pasha 
spoke at great length in Turkish to the Bishop, who 
turned to me when he had concluded, and explained in 
Greek that the peasants had come to him in a body, 
before th€ revolt, to request him to lay their grievances 
before the Pasha; that he had done so, but that the 
Pasha had not thought fit to take them into consider- 
ation. This astonished me, but I said nothing. The 
incidents of the outbreak were then described in detail, 
and it appeared, as interpreted to me, like a confession 
on the part of the Pasha, that it had all been owing to 
his own severity and want of judgment, and quite con- 
tradictory to what he had previously told me. I then 
understood that no reliance could be placed on my very 
reverend dragoman, and, being tired of playing at cross 
purposes, I rose to take leave. The Pasha took me by 
the arm most kindly, and made me sit down again. He 
then said something to the Bishop, who in his turn took 


leave in the most humble manner, and left us together. 
The Pasha immediately sent for Pietro, and begged me 
to tell him what the Bishop had told me. I had no 
wish to play this part, and escaped by asking him to 
tell me w^hat he had told his reverence to interpret. He 
did so, and I was soon convinced of the duplicity of the 
latter, but for many reasons I was anxious to avoid 
exposing it, and I might have succeeded in this, if I had 
not unfortunately adverted to the appeal for justice 
made to the Pasha by the peasants through the Bishop. 
He peremptorily denied that the Bishop had ever acted 
as mediator between the peasantry and himself, or 
brought him any communication whatsoever from them, 
but he had been told that the villagers had gone to the 
Bishop for that purpose. It was now pretty clear that 
the Greek prelate had acted throughout as an agent of 
Russia, in preventing what might have brought about 
an amicable understanding between the Governor-general 
and the population of his province, but it was no business 
of mine to meddle with their differences, and I took the 
first opportunity of withdrawing. 

Some time after I had returned to my rooms, I re- 
ceived an invitation to dine with the Divan Effendi, who 
told me that the Pasha would not leave his harem, as he 
did not feel well. I also learnt that he had never had 
more than one wife; that he had three daughters and 
one son, Tefik Bey, a fine boy of seven years old, whom 
I saw frequently; and that Zia Pasha was exceedingly 
fond of a domestic hfe, and stayed with his family as 
much as possible. I heard afterwards that the Divan 
Effendi was also married, and lived in the same way; 


and that there was but one Turk of respectability at 
Widin who had more than one wife. Is not this fact 
of the quiet, sensible, and respectable married life of a 
number of their principal personages, a proof that the 
Turks are no longer what they once were ? 

Besides the Divan Effendi, there was a pale young 
man of mild and gentlemanly manners at table with 
myself and the persevering Pietro. He was the bearer 
of the great seal of the Pashalik, and he aided the 
Divan Effendi in the Secretary's office, where Halil 
Bey was also frequently a voluntary assistant. Each 
of those three young men expressed to me more than 
once their determination to learn Erench, and their hope 
that they might one day visit the great capitals of 
Europe as attaches, or secretaries, to Turkish ambas- 
sadors. Their conversation was quite that of well- 
informed persons of other countries. They put many 
questions with regard to England, but there was none 
of that stupid wonder which uneducated people display; 
if they learnt what they did not know, it was at least 
perfectly comprehensible to them; and they seemed to 
appreciate with enthusiasm what was good, and to 
censure with judgment what was reprehensible in all 
that they heard. 

I sat for some time alone after dinner in Halil Bey's 
room at the open window, enjoying the cool night air 
before going to bed. The Muezzin was singing his 
nocturnal orisons from a neighbouring minaret, and his 
fine clear voice resounded far over the still surface of the 
river. Beneath, the spacious court-yard was deserted, 
and the great flaming torch of tar and turpentine, on 


a lance of iron stuck in the ground, hardly scared the 

gaunt and famished-looking dogs which prowled about ; 

while the white storks appeared dimly as they flapped 

their wings on their lofty nests, generally placed by 

them on chimneys. I heard some one moving in the 

room, and supposing it to be Pietro, I did not turn 

round. After at least half-an-hour, I chanced to look 

into the room, and in the dim light from the torch, for 

I had extinguished the candles, I perceived a slight 

figure standing near the door. I asked who was there ; 

and the figure advanced in an attitude of submissive 

respect. It was the Greek slave. He begged me to 

excuse him, and he said he had been seeking an 

opportunity for the last two days to speak with me, 

as it was so rare a satisfaction for him to hear the sound 

of his mother-tongue, which he had himself almost 

forgotten. I asked him to tell me his history, which he 

did. He was a native of the island of Scio, the ancient 

Chios, and he was five years old when the massacre 

of the Christian inhabitants by the Turks took place 

'in 1825. He recollected perfectly seeing his father and 

mother and his old grandmother put to death. Their 

house, which still appeared to him to have been very 

large, was burnt to the ground, and he, with his two 

sisters, younger than himself, was carried to a boat. 

After that, he remembered being in a hamper slung on 

the back of a horse, and there were two other children 

in it, but they were not his sisters. There were a great 

many horses with hampers full of children, and he 

thought they must have gone a long journey, for loaves 

of bread were often thrown to them, but no other care 


was taken of them. Then he was at Constantinople, 
and he was sold. He never heard more of his sisters. 
His master was kind to him, but he soon died, and, as 
he had no heirs, his slaves became the property of the 
Sultan. He was then put on board a gun-boat, to learn 
to be a sailor, and he passed a wretched life for many 
years, constantly beaten and very scantily fed. At last 
a captain of a ship took him to live with him on shore, 
and he passed from one master to another, for several 
years, but he did not know how he had ceased to belong 
to the Sultan. I explained to him the new law, which 
he seemed never to have heard of, although it concerned 
him and his class of subjects particularly. He said he 
was happy now with Zia Pasha, who was a good master, 
just and paternal towards his inferiors, and never harsh 
to any one. He had often thought of asking leave to 
return to Scio, but he was now a Mussulman, and he 
feared he might be ill received, as he had no wish to 
change his faith. And then there was little chance of 
his finding his sisters there, and he believed he had no 
other relatives. With regard to his property, if he had 
any, it would not be easy to recover it, and he was in 
want of nothing in Zia Pasha's service, which he hoped 
never to leave as long as he lived. 

He left me with an emphatic, "Allah herimP' or 
" God is great !" and I retired to rest. 

I was up early, and ready to start on my excursion. 
Halil Bey brought me a letter, which the Pasha begged 
me to deliver to Ismael Pasha at Belgradjik, whither he 
had gone to take the command two days before — and he 
wished me a safe and prosperous journey. I descended 


to the court-yard ; a carriage was prepared for me, true 
enough, but it was not one of the three caleches, and I 
understood the reason why, when I was crossing some 
of the hills, for such roads were never seen. This vehicle, 
or araba, was admirably adapted for the service required 
of it; the fore wheels were as high as the hind ones, and, 
although they could not traverse under the body of the 
carriage, their size greatly facihtated the going up-hill, and 
prevented the danger of faUing^between two stones, which 
they rolled over as easily as might be : it was painted 
with stars and crescents in the most quaint fashion, and 
looked more like the cart of an itinerant quack than the 
travelling carriage of the great Pasha. Two stout horses 
pulled it ; three mounted and well-armed attendants 
surrounded it ; in we got; and off we set. 

For about an hour we drove at a slow trot over a 
green plain, which stretches back from Widin to the 
mountains. A vast gipsy camp occupied a part of it, 
near the town, and I think there must have been at least 
a thousand of them, but we could not stop to make a 
closer acquaintance. We reached the village of Widbol, 
after crossing several good bridges over the marshy 
ground which is frequently inundated by the Danube, 
and we stayed there a few minutes. In one of the 
cottages, which are infinitely better than those of Walla- 
chia, I found two poor children lying ill of fever and 
ague; their parents did nothing to reheve them, but, 
when I explained how easy was the cure, they resolved 
on taking them to Widin for medical assistance. We 
soon commenced the ascent of the mountains, and we 
continued travelling slowly over hill and dale, through 


wooded ravines, and among fields of maize, for several 
hours, until we arrived at Aktshar. This was a con- 
siderable place, with good houses, built on the banks of 
a small stream, which divided the Turkish from the 
Christian population ; and on the heights appeared field 
fortifications, with a few guns placed on misshapen 
bastions. We were to sleep here; but the Chur-bashi, 
or head of the village, being absent, we went to the 
Khan, and there I passe4 a sleepless night in the prac- 
tical study of the natural history of various species of 
insects of prey. 

The break of day found me lying in the Pasha's 
painted carriage, where I had entrenched myself against 
the enemy. The first thing I saw on opening my weary 
eyes was a table covered with dainty dishes, which the 
Chur-basJii had sent for my use, with a thousand apologies 
for not having been at home on the previous evening 
to receive me. I partook sparingly of his hospitality, 
considering that I was not much accustomed to dining at 
four o'clock in the morning, but my Turkish soldiers 
had no such inveterate habits, and they soon cleared the 
table which I had placed at their disposal. Hadji Bakir, 
the Chur-basJii, soon appeared, and he pressed me much 
to stay a day with him, or at least to dine again at noon 
and travel in the evening, but I had seen enough of 
Aktshar, and was determined to resume my journey as 
soon as possible. I could only silence his hospitable 
solicitations by telling him I would assure the Pasha 
that he had treated me in the most profuse manner on 
his return, and with this he was satisfied, as it is evident 
I had hit the right nail on the head. This being satis- 



factorily arranged, I walked out to seek for information 
on the subject of the late disorders, and, on crossing the 
stream by a small wooden bridge, and following the 
road by which we had arrived on the previous evening, 
I 'came to the centre of the Christian quarter, where I 
found a large cofiPee-house, in which the peasants were 
assembling before proceeding to their day's work. I 
entered with Pietro, and called for coffee. A circle 
soon gathered round the strangers, and I found no diffi- 
culty in estabUshing a general conversation about the 
events that had recently occurred in the vicinity, and of 
which most of my interlocutors had been eye-witnesses. 
When I had heard their account of them, I went to the 
Mussulman quarter, and there I made a similar attempt 
with equal success. All the facts, as related by both 
parties, whose information strictly coincided, corroborated 
that which I had received from Zia Pasha, and completely 
refuted the allegations of the Bishop, the Austrian Vice- 
Con sul, and the Italian Doctor, whose details of the 
matter were equally distant from the truth, and incon- 
sistent with each other. The facts were as follows. 

Foreign emissaries and Greek priests perambulated 
the country, for some time, explaining to the Christian 
peasantry the wrongs, real or fictitious, which they suf- 
fered at the hands of the speculators who farmed the 
land revenues. They were assiduously urged to take 
up arms in their own defence, and the hope of obtaining 
assistance from abroad was constantly held out to them. 
The Bulgarians, thus instigated, assembled on various 
points to consult as to what they should do, and they 
unanimously agreed not to endeavour to seek redress by 


violence, but to present petitions to the Governor-general 
against the malpractices of the tithe-farmers and collectors 
of the tax on sheep, who, as would appear, had com- 
mitted acts of injustice and oppression. Deputations 
were consequently sent to their Bishop, entreating him 
to intercede for them with the Pasha. After some days, 
he returned the answer, that the Pasha would not listen 
to any such complaint. This exasperated the villagers, 
and they were further incited to revolt by the active 
agents of the intrigue. They again consulted together, 
and again they rejected the counsel offered ; but they 
decided on going to Widin in large bodies, to lay their 
grievances before the Pasha himself; and, as a proof that 
they entertained no hostile intentions, it was resolved 
that they should all go unarmed. 

The movement commenced, and the efforts of the 
instigators were immediately directed towards the Ma- 
hometan population, whose indignation was artfully 
roused by representing the gathering of the peasants 
round the town as an insult to the Sultan, and an in- 
cipient rebellion against his authority. The Christians 
were then informed that it was the intention of the 
Pasha to fire upon them from the ramparts as soon as 
they should come within shot. They hesitated whether 
they should proceed or return ; the alarm was spread 
among them that the garrison of Widin was march- 
ing to attack them; several Turks, who were passing 
quietly along the roads, were immediately disarmed, in 
order that they might obtain the means of defending 
themselves ; and resistance being in some instances 
offered by these, a few lives were lost. When this was 


reported to the Pasha, he sent officers to inquire into the 
motives of such conduct on the part of the villagers, and 
to endeavour to persuade them to return to their villages. 
Some of the zajjtieh, or country police, were taken by 
these officers for their own security, and, had these irre- 
gular troops not been tampered with, the whole affair 
wouhl probably have been amicably settled ; but the deep- 
laid plan was fully done justice to. 

The officer, who was thus delegated to the inhabitants of 
Lom Palanka, Aktshar, and the surrounding villages, was 
a certain Maruf Aga of the irregular force, still unfortu- 
nately employed in some of the Pashaliks ; and when he 
appeared with his followers before the peasants, he called 
out to them to explain their wishes. Amongst the band 
which he commanded, murmurs arose at this tone of 
conciliation ; and one of them, by name Sherif EfFendi, 
whose dark complexion had given him the surname of 
the Arab, and who had been a retainer of the late Hus- 
sein Pasha and a partisan of the old system, called upon 
them to fall on the Christians while he struck the first 
blow himself. Maruf Aga in vain strove to retain 
them, the impulse had been given, and their violence 
could no longer be controlled. Twenty-five peasants 
were killed, almost without offering any resistance, and 
the remainder escaped to the mountains. At Widin 
I was told by every one, except the Pasha, that the 
immber put to death on this occasion amounted to a 
hundred and fifty. Thirty peasants were overtaken by 
the zaptieh during a long pursuit on the hills, and also 
lost their lives ; the Austrian Vice-Consul assured me 
that two hundred had been butchered in their flight. 

VOL. I. s 


I determined on following the track of Maruf Aga's 
band, which did not, in all, at any time exceed eighty- 
five men ; and I directed the driver to take the road 
leading to the inland town of Belgradjik, w^here the 
greatest atrocities were said to have been committed by 
them. We crossed several hills and deep valleys, well 
cultivated, although the crops had suffered by the 
absence of the peasants from their villages at the time 
when the Indian corn required weeding ; and we stopped 
at Maladernoftz and Isvor, the former a small hamlet 
and the latter a considerable place, but neither of them 
having been abandoned by their inhabitants, and only 
one man having been killed there on the passage of the 
irregular troops, when they saw him in a field with a 
gun, which he had taken for self-defence. 

Another steep ascent brought us to the summit of a 
ridge of rocks, from which Belgradjik was visible, with its 
fortress under a loftv cliff, and its white houses and mina- 
rets clustering around it. A long descent led us into 
the town, on the outskirts of which was the bivouac of 
two squadrons of regular dragoons, with their horses 
picketed in rows, as they had recently been sent here for 
the purpose of patrolling the country. I was taken to 
the house of the Mudir, or Mayor, who received me 
with the utmost courtesy. He was an elderly man, 
dressed in the old Turkish costume, stout, jovial, and 
good-humoured ; and so thoroughly conversant with the 
duties and attentions of hospitality, that he had a bath 
ready for me on my arrival, and dinner only waiting till 
I should feel disposed to eat it ; and that was with the 
shortest possible delay, with more than the usual appetite 

THE MUDIR. ^^^K 259. 

of travellers who move along roads well garnislied with 
hostelries, and with as much indifference on the subject 
of knives and forks, as our ancestors had some three 
hundred years ago, before these fastidious refinements 
had been introduced, even in England or Prance, beyond 
the massive trenchant-blade that sliced the sirloin. After 
dinner, the Mudir gave me his version of the disturb- 
ances; but as I wished to form my opinion on the 
evidence of persons altogether unconnected with the 
government, and belonging both to the Christian and the 
Mahometan classes of the population, I deferred more 
particular inquiries until the next morning, and allowed 
the conversation to take another turn. My kind host 
put many questions about England, and, among others, 
he asked me if my countrymen ever laid grievances, or 
made petitions in a body on the subject of their taxes ? 
I said that such incidents often occurred. 

" And how many people unite for this purpose?" he 

" Petitions have sometimes been presented by many 
hundreds of thousands," I replied. 

"Hundreds of thousands!" he exclaimed. "And 
what number of troops does your kralitzd^ send out to 
greet them?" 

" None at all." 

" Impossible ! You are jesting." 

" Not in the least," said I : " a few pohcemen are 
sent to keep order in the streets." 

" Clioh shei ! " f he exclaimed, much astonished ; 
" and how are they armed?" 

* Queen, in the Bulgarian and other Sclavonic dialects. 
\ Much thing, 'm'Y\xx\.k\\. 


*' They carry nothing but little sticks not a foot long." 

" Chok shei! And are they not killed ?" 

" Not a hair of their heads is hurt." 

" Pek chok shei r^^ 

We conversed thus until a late hour, and then the 
Mudir left me to sleep on the sofa which we had been 
sitting on ; but it was soon converted, by a black slave, 
into a most comfortable bed, bv the addition of sheets of 
a fine sort of silk gauze, and a counterpane of brocade 
wadded with cotton, and embroidered with gold ; while 
the pillow was covered with muslin, with flowers worked 
in coloured silks round the edges. 

I went out early with Pietro on a voyage of discovery, 
entering into conversation with almost every one we met 
in the streets. A woman, standing at the door of a hum- 
ble dwelling, told us, as every one else, both Mussulman 
and Christian, had done, that the number of persons 
killed at Belgradjik was twelve, instead of 200, as I had 
been told at Widin ; and this exaggeration was the more 
flagrant, inasmuch as I ascertained that there never were 
more than forty-five Christian families in this small town ; 
and it would, therefore, be impossible that four or five 
members of each, if so many existed, should have been 
put to death. It is true, that the Austrian Vice-Consul, 
and the Italian Doctor, talked much of the women and 
children who had been massacred at Belgradjik ; but I 
soon proved that such a statement was altogether false, 
although two had been wounded. The woman with 
whom I then conversed, said that she and her family 
had been the greatest sufferers in the place ; and I went 
into her house to hear the particulars. As soon as I was 

* Very much ndng. 


Seated on a low stool in the almost empty room, it 
became crowded with the neighbours — men, women, and 
children — who came to see what the stranger wanted; 
and I took the advantage of the opportunity to get them 
to talk of what had occurred in their town three weeks 
previously ; their account of it being precisely the same 
as that which I had heard that morning from many 
others of both religious persuasions. 

It appears, that when the band of Maruf Aga gave up 
the pursuit of the inhabitants of the eastern districts, 
they proceeded by the road over which I had just 
travelled to Belgradjik, where it was currently reported 
that a battle had taken place between the peasantry 
of the surrounding villages and the Turkish garrison 
of the fort, and that the latter had been finally taken by 
storm. On approaching, Maruf Aga found a great 
number of peasants on the heights near the town, un- 
certain whether they should continue their journey to 
Widin or return to their villages, and the garrison of 
the fort keeping within its walls ; not a shot had been 
fired on either side, and the Christian inhabitants of the 
town remained altogether indiff'erent, as they were prin- 
cipally shopkeepers, and did not suffer like the cultivators 
from the vexations of the tax-collectors. 

The villagers immediately dispersed when the zaptieh 
appeared on the ridge which I had crossed* the latter 
entered the town, and were well received by the Chris- 
tian inhabitants, who had no idea of any hostile intention 
towards them. Maruf Aga, who had now become as 
bloodthirsty as the Arab, commenced firing upon them ; 
and when they took to flight, all those who were over- 


taken before they could reach their houses were cut 
down. Twelve Christians were thus killed, and four of 
the zaptieh were shot from the windows, by people who 
had guns, and used them without scruple when they 
saw what was passing in the streets. The shops were then 
plundered of property worth 600,000 piastres, and many 
houses were also rifled of every object of value possessed 
by the inmates. Maruf Aga went to the fort, stationed 
a part of his band there, and sent the remainder, under 
the command of the Arab^ to pursue the villagers, who 
belonged exclusively to the villages of Ghirza, Racovitza, 
Bercovza, and Calla. 

The woman then told her own story. Her husband 
was one of the richest citizens of Belgradjik, a tobac- 
conist; and when the commandant of the local force 
saw the villagers on the heights near the town, he sent 
for him, together with six others of the principal shop- 
keepers, to inquire into the motives of this movement. 
They knew nothing about it, and could give him no in- 
formation. He then kept them as hostages in the fort, 
and informed the Christian population that they would 
be put to death on the first symptom of anything like 
a revolt on their part. During several days their chil- 
dren were allowed to take food to them, and they saw 
their fathers with chains on their hands and feet; but 
after the arrival of Maruf Aga, they were refused admit- 
tance ; and nothing had ever been heard of them since. 

This reminded me that Zia Pasha had requested me 
to endeavour to procure some information for him, re- 
garding the fate of seven of the most respectable Chris- 
tians of Belgradjik who were missing, as he suspected 


that they had taken refuge in Serbia, to save their money 
and valuables, and he thought their famihes might give 
me some clue to find out the truth, although they had 
refused to inform the Turkish authorities. I therefore 
questioned the others who were present, and they all 
corroborated the woman's account of the affair, several 
of them being near relatives of the other hostages. 

She further stated, that her eldest son, a young man 
of twenty, happened to be at the door of his house about 
an hour after the arrival of the zajptieli, and that one of 
them, who was riding along the street, told him he would 
be his guest. The Bulgarian said he was welcome, and 
held his horse while he dismounted. The soldier drew 
a pistol from his girdle as they were entering the house 
together, and shot the young man through the head. I 
was taken to see the blood on the threshold, as they 
would not have the marks washed out until justice should 
be done. The ruffian then drew his yataghan, and at- 
tacked a little boy of ten years of age, who was her 
youngest child ; and he was brought to me that I might 
see a long cut on his head, which was nearly healed ; his 
life had been saved by the thick fez he wore, which I 
saw cut in two, thus deadening the force of the blow. 
The mother of the tobacconist, an old woman of seventy, 
showed me a stab she had received in the neck from the 
same yataglian. The zaptieJi then took everything of 
value in the house, and left it. 

After hearing these tragic details, which made me 
regret more than ever that the Turkish government 
should not have completed the reform of their army by 
organizing also a regular police force — for the soldiers of 


the Nizam, or disciplined troops, were everywhere com- 
mended to me for their orderly conduct, while the zaj)- 
tieh, or irregular constabulary, were talked of with terror 
and hatred — I took leave of the assembled Bulgarians. 
At the door I found a nice little horse, with a handsome 
saddle, which the Mudir had sent after me ; and this 
time Pietro was obliged to walk in the mud, for it had 
rained in the night. I took an unworthy pleasure in 
keeping my horse at a quick amble, and in often looking 
round at the fat old figure labouring through the mire, 
with an expression of indignant humility on his ugly 

I went to call on Ismael Pasha, who said he was de- 
lighted to see me ; he had arrived a few days before me, 
and he gave me a graphic description of his ride through 
the storm, which Zia Pasha and I had sat out in the 
konak at Widin. The gallant Major-General, horse and 
all, had nearly been carried off one of the bridges on the 
plain by a rush of water, which rose a couple of feet 
above it, as he said. He told me all the arrangements 
he had made for patrolling the country, which were ac- 
cording to the custom and practice of European armies, 
and he added that his men were received by the peasants 
with the greatest kindness and confidence. An hour 
after I left him, Ismael Pasha returned my visit. A 
sketch of the town and its fanciful screen of rocks, de- 
tained me another half hour ; a delicious breakfast at 
the Mudir s, of which a dish of clotted cream, made from 
buffaloes' milk, formed the joiece de resistance for me. I 
packed myself up in my painted toy of a waggon, which 
was just like those that English children particularly 




affect on New Year's-day, only a little larger, and with 
Pietro, still grumbling when his muddy boots recalled the 
bitter memory of his morning w^alk, I left Belgradjik. 

We had not gone above a mile in a westerly direction, 
when we perceived four Bulgarians crossing a hillock, 
and coming to meet us. We pulled up, and they 
accosted us. One of them was a priest of most respect- 
able appearance ; another was the son of one of the seven 
shopkeepers, who had been kept in the fort as hostages ; 
and the latter commenced by saying that he had brought 
two peasants to me, who, as he had been informed by 
the priest, could throw some light on the fate of his father 
and his six companions, but that they had been afraid to 
give evidence of what they knew in public. I asked 
them if they would give me now any information they 
might possess on the subject, and they readily consented. 

They said that on the day of Maruf Aga's arrival at 
Belgradjik, they had happened to be among the trees on 
the hill near the gate of the fort, and that, hearing shots 
fired in the town, they had remained there to keep out 
of danger. They saw Maruf Aga and the Arab enter the 
fort with their followers after the massacre, and they hid 
themselves behind some bushes. In about an hour the 
seven prisoners, whom they were near enough to recognise 
perfectly, were led out of the gate with their arms pinioned; 
they were bound with their girdles to some plum-trees, 
which were now pointed out to me from the road where 
we were ; and then they were all stabbed to death by 
the zajjtieh, who afterwards threw their bodies among 
the bushes, when they had cut off three of the heads, 
which were carried towards Widin by several of the 



zaj^tieU on horseback. One of the witnesses said that 
the Pasha had given a bakshish , or present, of 2,000 
piastres to the bearers of the three heads ; but the other 
interrupted him, saying that he could not know that, and 
that they should relate only what they had seen them- 
selves. The same Bulgarian said that he had gone to 
the spot with another, a few days afterwards, and had 
found a number of dogs devouring the bodies. I in- 
quired if the bones could still be seen, with the purpose 
of returning and going there myself; but the priest told 
me that he had gone lately, when he heard the story 
from my informants, and that no vestiges of them re- 
mained. The alleged bakshish of 2,000 piastres was too 
inconsistent with the general character of Zia Pasha to be 
beheved, without better evidence, which could not easily 
be obtained, even if it were a fact; and what motive 
could he have had in drawing my attention to the case, if 
he knew how it had terminated ? The remainder of the 
narration, however, bore every appearance of truth, and 
it was the most likely result that could arise from the 
detention of the hostages, for Maruf Aga and the Arab 
were not men who would be disposed to spare them. 

We continued our journey through a most beautifully 
diversified country, with wood and cultivation succeeding 
each other — hills and valleys winding about, and streams, 
swollen by the rain, rushing onwards to the Danube. I 
was anxious to reach Widin that night, and I did not 
stop at the villages of Racovitza, Bercovza, Ghirza, and 
Calla; but I made ample inquiries of the villagers con- 
cerning the loss of life on the hills after the affair of 
Belgradjik ; and it was proved, to my complete satis- 


faction, that not more than seventy Christians had been 
killed, although the number was called 900 at Widin. 
Eleven Mahometans were also put to death on that occa- 
sion, and nine were still missing without anything certain 
being known of their fate, although it appeared probable 
that they had been disarmed by the peasants, and, fearing 
a general revolt against the Turks, they had crossed the 
Serbian frontier. 

Such were the facts of this species of insurrection, so 
different in their causes, in their details, and in their 
results, from the reports which were spread on the 
subject ; and they prove exactly the contrary of what it 
was intended that they should demonstrate, for the 
modern system of the Ottoman government was here 
triumphant. The irregular troops employed were Maho- 
metans of the Bulgarian or Sclavonic race, while the 
Pasha and his immediate subordinates are Turks from 
Constantinople; and there is a wide distinction to be 
made between these two classes, although they seem to 
have been most grossly confounded in all the accounts 
of the recent events which have hitherto reached other 

Instead of attributing this insurrectionary movement 
to the oppressive administration and unfeeling conduct 
of the Turkish government, as some have done, it would 
be more near the truth, if the whole blame were laid at 
the door of those foreign powers which suggested and 
encouraged it, threw obstacles in the way of its prompt 
and satisfactory conclusion, and then exaggerated its 
results to make them serve their own subtle purposes. 

They attempted to conceal its real origin by misrepre- 


senting it to be a general disaffection of the Bulgarians 
towards the Ottoman government, and they propagated 
the false notion that the Turkish yoke was about to be 
thrown oif by Bulgaria, and that a native Hospodar would 
be appointed as in the Danubian Principalities ; exciting 
thus the national pride and religious fanaticism of the 
Mussulman population, and cheering them on in secret 
to give no quarter to the Christians. 

In this designing assimilation of the state of Bulgaria 
to that of Wallachia, a strong fact was lost sight of, 
which is, that the population of the latter is exclusively 
Christian, with the sole exception of the Jews, while no 
less than a million-and-a-half of the Sclavonian inhabi- 
tants of the former are Mahometans. The immediate 
responsibility for the bloodshed which has taken place 
rests, however, with Maruf Aga, Sherif Effendi, and their 
followers ; and Zia Pasha is unjustly accused by those 
who have spread the reports current on the subject, for 
it can hardly be credited that his orders to them were 
dictated by a totally different spirit from that in which 
he imparted his instructions to many others who were 
acting in the same affair. All the officers employed by 
him, with the exception of these two, behaved with great 
moderation ; the local authorities of Lom Palanka and 
Belgradjik were immediately replaced by others who 
enjoyed his confidence, and their conduct has proved that 
they deserved it. 

The excitement of the Turkish population at Widin 
was kept in check by the measures executed under his 
own personal direction ; and delegates were sent by him 
to the villages, to calm the irritation of the Bulgarians 


l^and dispel their fears. In all these cases the results were 
perfectly satisfactory : it cannot, therefore, be fair to hold 
him responsible for the misdeeds of two among his many 
agents, who were acting independently, and at a distance 
from him. It was, doubtless, unfortunate that the 
Pasha should have been obliged to employ the irregular 
troops at all, but he had only 800 men of the regular 
army then at his disposal, and it would have been 
exceedingly imprudent, under such circumstances, to 
weaken the garrison of Widin ; indeed, it was well that 
he did not detach any of them, because it was owing to 
their active exertions, under his instructions, in guarding 
the streets and places of pubhc resort, that a general 
massacre of the Bulgarians by the Turkish populace did 
not take place there, so violent was the irritation which 
had been raised among the latter by the designing insi- 
nuations of foreign agents. 

The reinforcements opportunely sent from Wallachia 
by the Ottoman Commissioner, and their skilful distribu- 
tion in the disturbed districts, together with the efficient 
services of those entrusted with the difficult task of 
bringing the deluded peasants to a just sense of the 
state of matters, and especially the conduct of Yusuf 
Bey, a distinguished colonel in the regular army, — 
to whom Ahmed Vefyk Effendi had confided the delicate 
mission of inducing some of the insurgents to accom- 
pany him to the town of Widin, for the purpose of 
proving the falsehood of the statements made to them, 
that they would be put to death by the Turkish authori- 
ties, — soon effected the complete pacification of the 
province. Patrols of regular dragoons cover the country. 


and regiments of infantry are stationed in suitable posi- 
tions ; the villagers regard them as their protectors, and 
entertain the most friendly feeling towards them ; but it 
could not well be otherwise, considering how the Turkish 
army is now organized, disciplined, and commanded; 
and it is much to be regretted, that a regular corps of 
gendarmerie should not also have been formed, as these 
deplorable events could not in that case have occurred. 

The alleged revolution is thus concluded, and the 
attitude of the Turkish government is really worthy of 
remark, not only as offering a striking contrast to the 
conduct of those powers which have endeavoured to 
embroil its affairs, but also as furnishing a profitable 
lesson of forbearance and tact to other cabinets of Europe, 
which have been similarly situated, and have acted 
differently. Here there are neither executions nor even 
arrests, and the only persons prosecuted are those who 
were employed by the government ; provisions are sup- 
plied to the families of the victims, among the supposed 
enemies of the Sultan, and steps are being taken for the 
purpose of restoring their plundered property. The in- 
surgents are informed, that, if they have any grievances 
or complaints to lay before the government, they will be 
listened to with attention, and promptly taken into con- 
sideration ; and a deputation of five being selected from 
among them, every facility is afforded by the Pasha for 
their immediately proceeding to Constantinople, with the 
view of explaining their position and conduct. 

Such is the modern system of Turkey, and such the 
ancient policy of Russia; let justice be done between 
them, a meed of praise awarded where it is due, and 


condemnation passed on those whom the facts convict. 
The moderation of the Turkish government under these 
harassing circumstances, the absence of all revengeful 
feelings after them, and the perfect impartiahty displayed 
in the manner of treating the two classes of subjects in 
colKsion, make it a matter of merited congratulation 
that its issue should be so favourable ; while the Austro- 
Russian intrigue, which has not even obtained the sanc- 
tion of success, as many bad actions have, and which has 
failed partly because it was an anachronism, and partly 
because Turkey cannot now be shorn of her provinces by 
such manoeuvres as she was formerly, has procured for 
its authors nothing else than the ridicule of enlightened 
politicians by its failure, and the abhorrence of all 
upright minds by its detection. 

On my arrival at Widin, I told Zia Pasha the result 
of my inquiries, and I especially brought under his 
notice the case of the seven hostages at Belgradjik. He 
expressed great indignation against Maruf Aga, and 
Sherif EfFendi the Arab, whose trial he ordered ; and 
he directed that a regular supply of food should be pro- 
vided by the local authorities for all the families of the 
victims, until steps could be taken for restoring to them 
everything that had been plundered. 

After another night at the konah, I took leave of my 
kind hosts, and embarked in the boat of the guard-ship, 
which had been prepared for me, to cross the river to 
Calafat. Here I was received by the Director of the 
Quarantine establishment, and consigned to a room in 
the Lazaretto for four days ; but we could not even enter 
this little prison without undergoing the barbarous 


process of the spoglio, which consists in leaving the 
suspected wardrobe in the hands of the gaolers to be 
aired, while other more innocent clothing is provided 
by them. Pietro looked imposing in a large-patterned 
chintz dressing-gown. 

In conversing with the Director, I remarked that 
I supposed he had not often much to do. 

" On the contrary," he replied ; " although we have 
not many passengers, the trouble of examining minutely 
into the circumstances of them, and of reading all the 
letters that cross the Danube, in order to send a detailed 
report to Bucharest, keeps me constantly occupied." 

This was letting the cat out of the bag with a ven- 
geance, for the Russian quarantine system on the Danube 
has no other object than that which the simple-minded 
official at Calafat confessed to be his chief occupation. 
This fact suffices to convey an adequate notion of the 
unwarrantable manner in which power is here assumed 
by Russia. A sanitary cordon was established along the 
left bank of the Danube, and, by the Treaty of Adrian- 
ople, Russia acquired the right of co-operation to a 
certain extent in its organization ; but that right is now 
exercised in a manner which withdraws it from all con- 
trol of the local government, and converts it into a 
series of police offices, with prisons attached to them 
for the greater facilitation of their operations; which 
operations, though admirably conducted as a system of 
political espiomiage and surveillance, are in some respects 
totally at variance with the generally received principles 
of quarantine establishments. Thus, persons arriving in 
the country from the right bank of the river, or by the 


Black Sea, from the south, are detained for four days in 
close confinement — nominally to perform a quarantine 
which is no longer necessary, and which has been 
abolished even by Austria, but virtually for the purpose 
of undergoing the most searching scrutiny; all the 
papers they may have about them are examined under 
the pretext of fumigation, notwithstanding that these 
papers perform quarantine with their owners ; and every 
letter that enters the principalities through their ports 
is opened and read by the directors of the lazarettos, 
in order that their contents, when important, may be 
transmitted, not to the native official authorities, nor to 
the VYallachian or Moldavian princes, nor to the Com- 
missioner of the Sovereign, but to the Russian agents. 
This is tolerated, although it is not sanctioned by any 
legal claim to such undue interference and control ; 
and the princes seem to consider themselves as obliged 
to connive at it, as well as at many other encroachments 
on the part of Russia, who takes this novel view of the 
legitimate mode of guaranteeing treaties. 

On one of my four days of durance vile at Calafat, 
I heard the guns from the ramparts of Widin announce 
the feast of the Bairam, and I thought of young Halil 
Bey, whose marriage was then to be solemnized. Even 
this circumstance, apparently unimportant as it might 
be in a sanitary point of view, was carefully represented 
by the Director of the Lazaretto to his Russian chief at 
Bucharest, and he told me also that he had forwarded a 
fall account of my proceedings in Bulgaria, which had 
been regularly communicated to him by the Austrian 
Vice- Consul at Widin. 

VOL. I. T 


My travelling cart with six post-horses took myself 
and Pietro from the gate of the Lazaretto as soon as we 
had fulfilled our term of political purgation, and rattled 
us to Bucharest in thirty hours without stopping, by the 
same road which we had followed three weeks before. 
Neither accident nor incident of any kind, worthy of 
record, occurred on the way. 




His Highness the Hospodar must have an efficient 
personal police, for I had not been four-and-twenty 
hours at Bucharest, on my return from Bulgaria, before 
an invitation to dine with him reached me, and, as 
I had been indulging in an uninterrupted reaction 
of laziness after the violent activity of my race across 
the plain from Calafat, I supposed that the arrival 
of so obscure and humble an individual could not 
yet be known to any one. When I went to his country 
residence at the appointed hour, I found neither aides- 
de-camp nor orderly officers, as on the previous occasion, 
but I was shown into a room by a servant, where 
I found the Prince alone. He asked me a good deal 
about Bulgaria, and then led the way into the next 
room, in which a small table was laid, no bigger than 
a card-table, with only two covers prepared. 

" This is my habit," he said, " when I can avoid 
the tiresome state dinners which I am obliged to give, 
and when I can allow myself the enjoyment of a quiet 
causer leT 

Of course I was much flattered, but I thought it very 
odd, and I could not help wondering what the great 

T 2 


man conld possibly want with me. Our dinner was most 
exquisite : truffles from Paris, oysters from Constan- 
tinople, and a pheasant from Vienna, all brought fresh 
by special couriers ; and wines in perfection ; hock of 
Prince Metternich's best vintage, claret warmed, and 
(.'hampagne not over iced ; in short, everything was 
quite as it should be. We talked of England, free 
trade and protection, Jewish disabilities, and ecclesiastical 
titles ; we canvassed Prench pacific democrats and red 
republicans, and we analysed German Philosophy and 
rationaUsm. Then the Prince gave his servants a look ; 
they disappeared, and he proposed that I should help 
myself to another glass of burgundy. What on earth 
could he want with me ? 

" I presume you will follow the example of most 
of your countrymen who travel beyond the beaten track 
of tourists," he said, at last ; " and we may expect 
soon to see a publication on the subject of the countries 
you visit." 

I replied that nothing could be more probable ; and 
he expressed a kind hope that I might obtain my 
information from good sources. 

" Now, what is your impression with regard to 
Wallachia, for instance ? " he inquired, as he handed me 
a dish of creme fouettee a la vanille. " You may 
speak quite freely to me, and just as if you were stating 
your opinions to any one else but the Prince." 

I demurred, and pleaded my short stay as a reason 
for not having as yet formed my opinion ; but he would 
not let me off : and I then said that my first impression, 
on learning a little of the present state of Wallachia, was 


one of extreme surprise, as I could not discover any- 
equivalent advantage derived by the country from the 
foreign power whose predominant influence was per- 
mitted to exist, though unsupported by any just right to 
exercise it. 

I went on to explain that it might be supposed that 
great palpable benefits accrue to Wallachia and Moldavia 
from their forced connexion with Russia, which cover 
the irregularity of their relative positions, and induce 
the inhabitants of the former to suffer without complaint 
encroachments that bring material advantages in their 

" Such cases exist in Europe," I continued, while the 
Prince listened to me in silence ; " and there is an example 
of this kind in the conduct of Great Britain herself towards 
a state, smaller than these principalities, it is true, but 
somewhat similarly situated, with the exception of the 
one great fact, that there the principle of protection is 
just, while here it is unfounded. The Ionian islands are 
protected by England, and their respective positions are 
different from those of the Danubian provinces and 
Russia in this, that the lonians owe allegiance to no 
other sovereign, as the Moldo-Wallachians do to the 
Sultan, and that the islands were formally placed under 
the protection of Great Britain by the treaty of Paris, 
whereas the principalities can derive no legal protection 
from any power but Turkey ; their respective condition, 
however, is parallel, in so far as the British influence is 
unpopular among the lonians, and it is accused by them 
of grasping a degree of authority which is not conceded 
by that treaty. Yet the admirable roads, splendid forti- 


fications, and flourishing schools, besides many beneficial 
institutions which the English have there established, 
not to mention a growing debt incurred towards them 
without importunity for payment, amply supply a motive 
for the acceptance of that influence, however undue and 
exaggerated it may be. But in Wallachia and Moldavia 
the contrary is the case with regard to Russia : she has 
made no roads, — she has even destroyed the fortresses; she 
has founded no schools or other advantageous estabhsh- 
ments ; and, instead of being a generous and convenient 
creditor, she extorts vast sums for the support of her 
troops, which also rob and ruin the people with whom 
they are brought into contact. It cannot, therefore, be 
in favour of the profitable nature of the connexion that 
it is allowed to subsist." 

The interview being confidential, I refrain from adding 
the Prince's observations. 

The servants reappeared, and Turkish pipes and cofiee 
were brought. After another half hour I rose to take 
leave. He said he was also going out, and a servant 
brought him a great-coat, which he carefully buttoned 
over the glittering star on the left breast of his plain 
black coat ; we went to the outer door together, and 
there a hackney coach was waiting for him, as well as 
one for me. While I was reflecvting that he must be 
going on some Harun-al-Rashid sort of expedition in his 
capital, he whispered in my ear : — 

*' Study the country before you write ; and when you 
do write, I hope you will do me justice." 

" I mean to study the country before I write, Mon- 
seigneur," I replied ; " and when I do write, I hope to 


write the trutli about your Higliness, as I hope to do on 
every other subject that strikes me as being interesting." 

We shook hands, and jumped into our respective 
hackney coaches, which took me to my hotel, and him on 
his mysterious errand. 

The state of Wallachia is at present a curious subject 
of study to an observer. A native prince governs, 
between two supporters, the Ottoman and Muscovite 
commissioners, each of whom is backed by his army of 
occupation. The former of the two represents the 
prince's sovereign and protector, that sovereignty and 
protection being based on a special deed, by which the 
payment of an annual tribute is also stipulated, and 
having been exercised undisputed since the year 1460, 
when it was signed; and the latter of the two is the 
accredited agent of a foreign power, which has guaranteed 
to the principality the enjoyment of its established 
rights, and which by the law of nations can acquire no 
privileges by that act, because it was not a contracting 
party, but merely gave security for the obligations 
contracted by another. These are their respective posi- 
tions according to legal title ; but as matters stand, they 
are widely different, for the influence of the guaranteeing 
power is predominant in the councils of the native 
prince over that of his sovereign. 

One would naturally be led to infer from these pre- 
mises, that the policy of Russia must be more advan- 
tageous to Wallachia than that of Turkey, otherwise it 
would not be preferred; but it is a notorious and 
undeniable fact, that Russia is altogether indifferent how 
badly the internal affairs of the province are administered, 


provided her political influence be maintaiaed and pro- 
gressively augmented ; while Turkey is as unquestionably 
most deeply and sincerely interested in the prosperity 
of the country. The two systems, respectively followed, 
are diametrically opposed to each other. The Russian 
policy consists in encouraging corrupt administration, in 
order that continual dissatisfaction may exist among the 
population, to act as the sword of Damocles over the 
prince's head, whose submission in questions of direct 
importance to her is secured in return for her support in 
his difficulties. She endeavours to keep the province 
in a state of constant disquietude, and the government 
weakened by personal ambitions and rivalries, which 
she excites, while both province and government are 
exposed to the dangers of popular irritation, occasioned 
by her intrigues ; and her influence is thus sanctioned 
by the prince as a safeguard against the jealousy of the 
principal Boyars, and against a possible outbreak of 
resentment on the part of the people, while it is not 
only tolerated but even courted by the Boyars, in the 
hope that it may advance their schemes of aggrandize- 
ment and attainment of power, at the same time that 
it protects the privilege of their caste. The Turkish 
system, on the other hand, is to promote, by every 
possible means, the successful administration of the 
prince, as a basis of stability and order, and the tran- 
quillity of the populaiion, securing the rights and interests 
of every class of society, furthering the material im- 
provements which are so much required, and repressing 
the abuse of power and malversation of office, which 
have become so deeply rooted in all its departments, 

POMTICAI^'osTTToNO^raHi A CHI A . 281 

that administrative employment is sought after as a 
certain source of wealth by easy peculation ; and the 
tendency of all the efforts made by Turkey in favour of 
Wallachia, is to develop the native resources of a 
province attached to her empire, which will thus be 
strengthened on its northern frontier, by the welfare 
and fidelity of a population owing everything to her. 

In spite of these irreproachable motives, and this 
unimpeachable conduct on the part of the Ottoman 
Porte, and notwithstanding that Wallachia has much to 
gain by loyal attachment to the Sultan, while the friend- 
ship of the Czar is productive of palpable evil, still the 
influence of Russia is preponderant with the Prince and 
with the Boyars for the reasons above stated ; but the 
lower orders, which form ninety-nine hundredths of the 
population in Wallachia, have neither similar interests 
nor the same opinions, and they found all their hopes 
of well-being on the sympathy of the Western cabinets 
of Europe ; which sympathy, being in every way con- 
sistent with the policy of Turkey, is expected by them 
to come sooner or later into the field, and to strengthen 
the hand of that power in the unjust contest entailed 
upon it within its own frontiers by a bold and unscru- 
pulous foreign rival. 

The humbler classes of society, in all countries, are 
generally actuated and guided in their judgment by 
positive facts rather than by speculative conclusions; 
and in Wallachia the contrast which is offered by the 
demeanour of the two armies of occupation, has greatly 
contributed towards their forming a correct estimate of 
their relative position with regard to them. Russia has 


thus injured her cause by the success of her favourite 
scheme of keeping troops in the Danubian principalities, 
which she was always striving to accomplish, in the hope 
that her influence would be permanently increased by 
it : but the contrary result has taken place ; and those 
very troops, which she has now succeeded in establishing 
on a firm footing in the country, have done much to 
diminish the respect of the people for the Russian name. 
On their first arrival, both armies were billeted on the 
inhabitants ; the Turks respected their property, paid 
for w^hat they received, and even supported the families 
with which they lived on the abundance provided for 
their own sustenance, scrupulously observing the precepts 
of hospitality which form a principle of their religion ; 
but the Russian soldiers maltreated and even robbed 
their involuntary hosts, devouring their provisions, and 
impoverishing them in every way during the unwelcome 
occupation of their houses. So remarkable was this 
distinction, that the inhabitants of one quarter of the 
town of Bucharest, who had petitioned the Ottoman 
commissioner, on the entrance of the troops, to be ex- 
empted from the obligation of receiving Turkish soldiers 
as guests, actually applied to him for the advantage of 
being their hosts, when they saw how profitable it was 
to others ; whereas, every possible means are employed 
to obtain relief from the burden of entertaining Russian 
soldiers. The bad conduct of the latter seems to be as 
much encouraged by their officers, as the respectable 
behaviour of the Osmanlis is promoted by the instruc- 
tions and example of their superiors. A current anecdote 
may serve to illustrate this assumption. The command- 


ing officer of a regiment of Russian cavalry gave orders 
that certain straps of their military equipments should 
be renewed by an appointed day ; his orders were 
obeyed, but, as he probably was not over-anxious to 
inquire into the expense incurred, he may never have 
been aware that there was not a private carriage, or set 
of harness in the vicinity of the houses where his soldiers 
lived, from which straps had not disappeared. The story 
may be true and it may be false, but it was generally 
believed, as well as many others of similar purport ; and, 
as even the least intelligent people can form an opinion 
on such grounds — ^and they are rarely mistaken — the 
Russians are consequently no favourites with the lower 
orders in Wallachia. 

A heavy tax in money is also paid by the country for 
the support of this precious army of foreigners, whose 
presence, to say the least of it, is altogether unnecessary. 
The Russian army of occupation never was required in 
the Danubian principalities, and its continued stay is in 
direct opposition to their interests, as well as to those of 
the Turkish empire in general, and of the western powers 
of Europe; for apprehensions of disorders, consequent 
on its withdrawal, cannot reasonably be entertained, and 
even if they could, the presence of Russia would exacer- 
bate rather than appease popular excitement, while their 
physical force, as allies of Turkey, is no more necessary 
than it is desirable that they should take any share in 
the relations and transactions which may exist between 
those provinces and their sovereign. The Russians 
allege that a long continuance of amicable relations and 
disinterested habits of sympathy, and an uninterrupted 


series of friendly acts and immemorial tokens of kindly 
intercourse, have riveted the bonds and cemented the 
alliance which unite Russia and the Danubian princi-, 
palities. But how does history speak ? The intercourse! 
between them has in all ages been prejudicial to the 
latter. These provinces have not been sufficiently con- 
spicuous, in the course of European events, to enable 
their antecedents to become thoroughly understood, 
excepting by those whose attention has been especially 
directed to the subject ; and a brief retrospect may not 
be considered inopportune for the better appreciation 
of their present position, in the great questions now at 
issue between Turkey and Russia ; for the singular cir- 
cumstances in which Wallachia and Moldavia are placed, 
have arisen from a long concatenation of incidents, com- 
paratively obscure, and necessarily absorbed in the more 
engrossing interests which have been called up in their 
train ; and the immediate local effects of many notorious 
historical events, have naturally been lost sight of by 
most persons in the greater results which they have ulti- 
mately produced. It will not, therefore, be irrelevant to 
the consideration of the actual policy of Russia, with 
regard to the Turkish empire, cursorily to trace the out- 
lines of the political career of this portion of it. 

The Danubian principalities formed part of the 
ancient kingdom of Dacia, whose first inhabitants were 
of Thracian origin. They were remarkable for their 
warlike and independent character many centuries before 
the people of Russia had ever been heard of in history, 
for they successfully combated the armies of Darius and 
Alexander the Great. Under their renowned king, 


Decebalus, they made frequent excursions across the 
Danube, to ravage the Roman province of Moesia, and, 
having been at last definitely repulsed by the Emperor 
IVajan, they were attacked by him in their own country ; 
the remains of the celebrated bridge, built by Apollo- 
dorus of Damascus, by means of which the Romans 
crossed the river, are an existing token of their expe- 
dition, and its crumbling arches perpetuate on the banks 
of the Danube the memory of that campaign, whose 
sculptured records still surround the splendid column 
in the Imperial Eorum; and it is remarkable, how 
strikingly the figures of the Dacians, on Trajan's Pillar 
at Rome, resemble the modern Wallachians in features, 
person, and costume. Dacia was conquered ; Decebalus 
would not survive his defeat, and he fell on his sword ; 
his subjects set fire to his town of Sarmizegethusa, and 
emigrated in great numbers to Sarmatia; and ancient 
Moldo-Wallachia was annexed to the territory of the 
Roman Empire. 

The victorious legions were established there, and 
colonies were founded, bringing with them the laws 
and civiHzation of Rome : towns were built, roads con- 
structed, and fortresses raised; the proverbial solidity 
of all Roman works being such, that traces of this 
connexion between the Danubian states and the then 
conquerors of the known world are visible to the present 
day in their remains, as in the habits and language 
of their modern population. Their inhabitants had 
previously led a nomadic life; their only dwellings 
were covered carts, from which circumstance they were 
styled Hamaxobi, or livers in waggons, as the word 


implies in Greek, and their sole wealth consisted in 
flocks and herds ; but they were enticed by the Romans 
to return to their country, and to settle in towns and 
villages ; and a populous city which they erected on the 
ruins of Sarmizegethusa, the capital of Decebalus, soon 
arose to commemorate their subjugation, under the name 
of Ulpia Trajana. The Emperor Hadrian, however, 
adopted a different policy with regard to the more 
remote of his provinces, and he determined on not 
sustaining the influence of Rome over her wide-spread 
conquests. He destroyed Trajan's bridge, in order to 
impede the communications which had been established ; 
the Dacians being thus cast off*, repudiated their alle- 
giance towards Commodus, and they were finally aban- 
doned by Aurelius. They had attained in the meantime 
a degree of prosperity which had been hitherto unknown 
in these regions ; and the ancient Russians, commencing 
even then to exercise their baneful influence, were de- 
stined to deprive them of it, and to restore the half 
savage state in which they had lived before the era of 
Roman colonization in Dacia. 

In the end of the third century the barbarians of the 
north invaded the Danubian provinces. Then, for the 
first time, appeared on these fertile plains the lawless 
ancestors of those rude Cossacks, who may now be seen 
galloping through the streets of Bucharest with their 
lean ponies, carrying the forage which the terror of their 
long lances obtained for them from the timid and sub- 
missive Wallachians of the present day. The Roman 
legions, which had remained three hundred years in 
Dacia, soon retired before the resistless impetuosity of 


the assailing tribes, and crossed the Danube. They 
ralhed for a time in the province of Moesia, which after- 
wards changed its name to that of Bulgaria, on account 
of the subsequent settlement of the Tatar wanderers 
from the banks of the Volga, also on the right bank of 
the Danube; and gradually the extensive and rich 
valley enclosed by the Carpathian and the Balkan ranges 
of lofty mountains was completely overrun by the 
enemies of civilization. The first relations that existed 
between the Russians and the Moldo-Wallachians were 
thus of a hostile nature, and they were signally disad- 
vantageous to the latter ; for, besides all the customary 
evils of a predatory invasion, the loss which befel them 
through the retreat of the Romans, who had partly 
civilized them, and had materially enhanced their na- 
tional prosperity, must also be ascribed to those northern 
foes now so unaccountably regarded as friends. 

The Goths and Huns came next, and they were soon 
followed, in the general remue-menage of the middle ages, 
by the Lombards and other warlike rovers, who fell 
upon the Danubian states, and held them successively 
for several centuries, after having driven back the ancient 
Russians to their Scythian steppes. The Tatars appeared 
at last, and the remnant of the Dacians, which still lin- 
gered in the country, took flight, crossed the Carpathian 
mountains, and settled on their northern slopes, as tribu- 
taries of the Hungarian kings. 

The strangers from the East commenced a gradual 
evacuation of the provinces, however, in the eleventh 
century, and their original inhabitants progressively 
returned to them ; but so slowly was the change 


effected, that it was not until the year 1241 that the 
latter were definitively established in Wallachia under 
their chief, Radu Negru, and in Moldavia under Bagdan 
Bragosh. But the principalities were not founded, as 
they now exist, before the end of the thirteenth and 
middle of the fourteenth centuries : at the former period, 
in the southern part of Dacia, which had then derived 
the narae of Wallachia from the Sclavonic word wlacli, 
bearing the double signification of Italian and shepherd ; 
and at the latter epoch, in the country lying between 
the Carpathians and the river Puretus, now called the 
Pruth, which had received the general designation of 
Moldavia from the river Moldava, whose waters traverse 
it, and fall ihto the Danube near its mouth. 

Although divided into two independent states, Wal- 
lachia and Moldavia still continued undistinguished by 
the habits, language, and religion of their inhabitants, 
and unsevered by any feehng of estrangement or of 
hostility against each other. Being important on ac- 
count of their position, the alliance of both was eagerly 
sought by the kings of Poland and Hungary, in the 
general league which was projected, as a bulwark to 
protect Europe from the dreaded invasion of the 
Osmanlis ; but when the principalities were threatened 
with subjugation by that rising power, they received no 
assistance from their allies, and their internal weakness 
and exposed situation offered no means of successful 
resistance. Myrtshea, prince of Wallachia, after vain 
attempts to combat Sultan Badjazet I., therefore acknow- 
ledged the sovereignty of the Sultans in the end of the 
fourteenth century ; and Bogdan, prince of Moldavia, 


soon afterwards became the voluntary subject of the 
Ottoman Porte. In virtue of their act of surrender, 
they secured, however, the undisturbed exercise of their 
rehgion as members of the Eastern Christian church; 
they stipulated that no mosques or places of Mussulman 
worship should be erected in their country; and that 
every native abjuring the Christian faith, to embrace 
Islamism, should lose his rights in his respective pro- 
vince ; and they retained for the Moldo-Wallachians the 
faculty of electing their princes by the votes of their 
Boyars and Bishops, and of making alliances with all 
foreign powers, not the declared enemies of Turkey. 
These several privileges were conceded in consideration 
of an annual tribute to the Sultan, and of an engage- 
ment, to sell to the Turkish Government, when required, 
all the produce of the principalities which they could 
export after having supplied the internal consumption. 

The barbarians of the north, meanwhile, had risen to 
the rank of an organized nation. They first distin- 
guished themselves in the history of the middle ages by 
the war waged by Sviatoslaus, the son of Rurich, against 
the Greek emperors of Constantinople, whom he forced 
to j\ay him a tribute ; and the Danubian provinces then 
suffered, for the second time at their hands, all the 
horrors of rude warfare, without deriving any other re- 
sult from the struggle than that of rapine and desolation 
wherever their country was the field on which it raged. 

The sovereigns of Russia first took the title of grand 
dukes ; they next proclaimed themselves as kings, or in 
Sclavonian czars ; and finally, in the year 1721, Peter 
the Great assumed the dignity of emperor. Before the 

VOL. I. u 


latter epoch the Russian church was governed by a 
patriarch, residing at Moscow ; but Peter abohshed that 
ecclesiastical rank, and appointed a synod of bishops, of 
which he announced himself to be the head. This 
circumstance exercised a powerful influence on the 
Moldo-Wallachians, whose sovereign was then the chief 
of Islam ; for they were easily brought to regard the Czar 
as the protector of their religion, although he was, in 
fact, a schismatic ; and bigotry blinded the right judge- 
ment of the Sultan's Danubian subjects, estranging 
them from the legitimate sovereign, in whose hands 
their welfare lay, and drawing them towards a neigh- 
bouring potentate of similar creed with themselves, but 
of widely different secular interests. 

Peter declared war against the spirited young king of 
Sweden. Charles XII. proved to him that he had much 
to do before he could cope with the old monarchies of 
Europe, for 60,000 Russians were totally defeated at 
Narva by 9,000 Swedes. 

" They will teach us how to beat them at last," said 
Peter ; and his prediction was fulfilled. • He took Narva 
by storm. Favoured by Mazeppa, Byron's hero, who 
had deserted from the Czar's army, Charles penetrated 
into the Ukraine, and laid siege to its capital with 
20,000 men ; Peter rushed to the relief of Pultava, and 
destroyed the Swedish force. This was one of the most 
important battles in modern history, and its conse- 
quences will be felt for ages to come, in so far as the 
destinies of Russia involve those of the whole of Europe. 
Had Peter the Great been routed, or even had he fallen 
victoriously, his subjects would probably have sunk back 


into that state of barbarism, from wbich they were 
emerging only through his personal elBPorts. His good 
fortune, however, was not invariable ; for he soon after- 
wards met with serious reverses on the renewal of the 
war with Turkey, and he could only conclude a treaty 
of peace by restoring the town of Azoph. He afterwards 
extended the Eussian territory still further when the 
peninsula of Crim Tartary was annexed to it, and the 
river Dniester became the boundary between his empire 
and that of Turkey, approaching thus the Danubian 
principalities, which were then conterminous with his 

Ever since the accession of that great prince, the 
ambition of the Russian government has constantly tended 
towards the acquisition of territory, and that pohcy 
instituted by him has been followed by the subsequent 
heads of the nation with undeviating constancy, ability, 
and caution ; its results having hitherto been the forma- 
tion and consolidation of an empire equal in extent to 
the whole of Europe, and the largest state now existing 
in the world, being nearly 10,000 miles in circum- 
ference, 4,000 in a straight line drawn from tlie 
northern frontiers of Sweden to the shores of the Caspian 
Sea, 2,000 from its northern to its southern extremities, 
and stretching across the globe from west to east, without 
interruption, from the German boundaries to Behring's 

Beside this colossal and still increasing power lay the 
Danubian principalities, like pigmies at the feet of a 
giant. In extent not greater than England, possessing 
a population only the fifth part of that which they could 

u 2 


support, and that population containing none of the 
elements of national strength, — for it is divided between 
two classes, the affluent and the indigent, the rich being 
solely addicted to luxury, ostentation, and political 
intrigue, and the poor being indolent, miserable, op- 
pressed, and degraded, Moldo-Wallachia looked forward 
to her ultimate incorporation in the growing empire of 
Russia. Her fertile soil, still as productive as it was 
when the Emperor Trajan obtained supplies from his 
30,000 Romish colonists for the army which he sent 
against the Scythians and Sarmatians, was a bait for the 
covetousness and ambition of Peter; for he foresaw of 
what advantage might be to him the possession of such 
a resource in his wars with Turkey, — so varied are the 
articles produced in the wooded and picturesque tracts 
of country near the Carpathian mountains, and on the 
bare, flat, and marshy plains towards the Danube. 
Grain of different kinds, wool, butter, honey, wax, tallow, 
salt, timber, and salted provisions, were already exported 
in great quantities to the market of Constantinople; and 
horses, oxen, hogs, and hides, were poured into Germany 
to a vast amount. Peter did not overlook the import- 
ance of monopolising these rich productions for Russia, 
and he resolved on appropriating them as soon as 

The object to be obtained by founding the new capital 
of Russia at St. Petersburg, was in course of realization 
by the progressive subjugation of Pinland and Bothnia, 
and the only enemy to be feared in that direction was no 
longer formidable after the defeat of Charles XII. The 
enterprising Peter must extend his empire still further 



towards the south and the east; Constantinople and 
Calcutta arose in his dreams to be the substitutes for 
St. Petersburg, as the latter had supplanted Moscow, the 
ancient capital of his ancestors, when they were merely 
the obscure dukes of uneivihzed Muscovy. The rising 
Russian giant was cramped in his bleak plains and inland 
steppes. He must stretch out his huge arms towards 
the sea, to make room in his growing adolescence for the 
prodigious dimensions of his future maturity. 

The monarchies of the East, Persia, Khiva, and 
Bokhara, were rapidly becoming dependent on the Czar, 
and the feeble bulwark opposed by the Tatars was 
evidently crumbling to pieces. Asia was doomed, in his 
visions of almost universal domination ; India was 
marked as an ultimate prey; and European Turkey 
became the subject of his immediate views. He deluded 
himself into the belief that the Ottoman empire was 
crouching powerless before the inevitable and triumphant 
advance of his own or his successors' arms ; and the 
singular document which he left to them as a political 
will, proves the authenticity of his grasping and insatiable 
ambition with regard to the extension of his dominions, 
A century and a half has hardly elapsed^ and it has 
already been demonstrated to them and to the world, 
how much the power of Russia had been overrated in 
one respect, and how ill- appreciated were the resources, 
moral and material^ of the vigorous Osmanlis. 

Peter again went to war with Turkey. Constantino 
Brancovano, the prince of Wallachia, agreed to assist 
him with 30,000 men, and to realize his scheme of 
drawing supplies for his army from that province. This 


was the first open act of treason which grew out of the 
attachment of the Danubian principaUties to Russia, 
founded on the sympathies of their common rehgious 
persuasion. The faithless prince, alarmed by the miHtary 
preparations of the warlike Sultan Ahmed, soon betrayed 
the emperor, and the latter was ultimately saved in that 
disastrous campaign of the Pruth, by the hasty conclusion 
of a peace, erroneously attributed by some historians to 
the address of his wife Catherine, in gaining the Grand 
Vezir, to whom she was said to have despatched all the 
objects of value in the Russian camp, enabling the 
rash invaders thus to retreat from the once celebrated 
Jassiorum Municipium, now called Jassy, which they had 
occupied. Brancovano was arrested at Bucharest, dragged 
with his family to Constantinople, and beheaded there, 
together with his four sons. Prince Cantemir of Mol- 
davia, who had openly declared in favour of the Czar, 
escaped into Russia, and there eluded the vengeance of 
the Sultan. 

The Porte then determined on placing Greeks of Con- 
stantinople at the head of the two provincial govern- 
ments; and, two years after these events had taken 
place, a new era in the history of the principalities 
commenced, by the installation of these skilful politi- 
cians in the office of Hospodar, as they were now called, 
from the Sclavonic word gos]podia or lord, and by the 
formal disfranchisement of the Moldo-Wallachians of 
their right to elect their own princes. 

Here, then, was a direct result suffered by the prin- 
cipalities in consequence of their treachery towards their 
sovereign and of their attachment to Russia, and it was 




a most prejudicial result to them ; for, from this tin 
forward, they were oppressed and degraded in every 
possible way through the misrule of the Greeks, who 
obtained their posts by bribery, and repaid them- 
selves by extortion. The ordinary assessments were 
arbitrarily raised to an indefinite amount ; custom-house 
duties were levied on the produce of the interior in 
transporting it to the market, without following any 
fixed principle; the taxes on live stock were charged 
ten and fifteen times higher than was legally established ; 
forage was collected for the stables of the Hospodar and 
his Greek favourites, and for the service of the posts, in 
proportions which appear quite fabulous ; forced labour 
was imposed on the peasantry to a most vexatious 
degree, in order to induce them to purchase exemption ; 
grain was required from the wooded districts, and timber 
from the open plains, for public use, to oblige the vil- 
lagers to pay their value in money ; thousands of patents 
of nobility were sold ; privileges granted according to a 
tariff; justice was in the market; the inspection of 
schools, the direction of hospitals, and the charge of 
beneficent funds, became profitable speculations ; and, 
to complete the demoralization of the government in all 
its branches, rank in the police militia was conferred on 
the highest bidders, who were generally the very male- 
factors whose detection was the most necessary. 

This notoriously corrupt administration on the part of 
the Greeks was encouraged by Russia, who hoped to 
§ee disaffection toward the Sultan arise from the wrongs 
suffered at the hands of his unw^orthy nominees ; and 
for a whole century this deplorable condition of the 


principalities was maintained by the Greeks, who, feel- 
ing no sympathy for the population, served their own 
corrupt interests, at the same time that they realized the 
malevolent purposes of Russia, to whom most of them 
were sold. 

At last the treaty of Kainardje furnished to the court 
of St. Petersburg, in the year 1774, an opportunity of 
revenging itself on the Ottoman Porte for the humilia- 
tion of the treaty of Pruth. The Russian govern- 
men then acquired the right of intervention in the 
affairs of the principalities. But that right was, in point 
of fact, infinitely more limited than its subsequent mode 
of exercise would lead one to suppose ; for it was merely 
stipulated on this subject that " le ministre de la Cour 
Imporiale de Russie a Constantinople aura le droit de 
parler en faveur de ces Principautes, et la Sublime Porte 
aura egard a ses representations." These were the 
feeble and slender foundations on which was afterwards 
raised the formidable superstructure of active protection 
and armed occupation. It appears that the Empress 
Catherine II, who signed that treaty, had formed the 
project of creating an independent kingdom for Constan- 
tine, the second of her grandsons, or for her favourite, 
Potemkin, which should consist of Wallachia, Moldavia, 
and Bessarabia ; but the annexation of the latter province 
to the Russian empire, which soon took place, gave another 
turn to the traditional ambition of the Czars. 

The revolt of Pasvand Oglu, pasha of Widin, who 
ravaged Little Wallachia, drew forth that violent retri- 
butive reaction on the part of the Sultan which drove 
Prince Soutzo and most of his Boyars to take refuge in 


Transylvania ; and Russia then interposed. The result 
was the publication of the Hatti Sherif of 1802, nego- 
tiated at Constantinople by the Russian minister. That 
document, after recapitulating the previous stipulations 
with regard to the Danubian principalities, estabhshes 
the right of the court of St. Petersburg " de surveiller 
I'integrite des privileges garantisy This was another 
step in the career of Russian diplomacy on the banks of 
the Danube ; and she now appeared categorically as a 
guaranteeing power, and not as the protector, which in 
her conduct she assumed to be. 

The peace that ensued between the two great empires 
did not last long, for the continual and unjustifiable 
interference of Russia in the affairs of the principalities 
soon led to the war between her and the Sultan, already 
alluded to as having been brought to a close at Giurgevo 
and Rustshuk, and which resulted in the treaty of 
Bucharest, and in the annexation of Bessarabia to the 
dominions of the Czar. Moldavia Proper and Wallachia 
were then evacuated by their dangerous friends, after a 
disastrous military occupation of seven years, which was 
the only effect produced on the principalities by the 
officious alliance and protection of Russia on this occa- 
sion. The traces of the calamities caused by the war 
were visible long after the hostilities had ceased. Pesti- 
lence and famine were at the peasant's door ; fear and 
uneasiness invaded the palace. The Turks became an 
object of dread, on account of the bad faith which had 
been displayed towards them, and the Boyars expected 
daily to see their treachery punished. The fortresses 
were dismantled, and the villagers were obliged to work 


gratuitously to repair them ; and for several years the 
material prosperity of the provinces was retarded, while 
the sufferings of their inhabitants was enhanced by a 
casual mortality among the live stock, which formed the 
principal source of their wealth. 

The treaty of Bucharest repeats the expression of the 
Hatti Sherif, and confirms " les privileges garantis aux 
Principautes du Danube par la cour de Russie," Other 
diplomatic stipulations place the relations between 
Russia and the Danubian principalities on the same 
footing, and none exists of any kind which gives the 
former the right oi protection. Facts also, as well as 
documents, prove that the assumption of that right on 
the part of Russia is unfounded and unjustifiable. Wal- 
lachia and Moldavia pay her no tribute or protection 
money, as is customary with protected states ; they are 
not bound to assist her in her wars ; they are not 
included in her alliances; and the avowed system of 
their government is in nowise similar to hers. Russia 
is, therefore, nothing more than a guaranteeing power ; 
and, as such, she acquires no right to herself. According 
to international law, as interpreted by Vattel, the first 
authority on the subject, the only duty or function of a 
guaranteeing power is to maintain the rights of the state 
to which security has been given ; and a treaty which 
receives the support of such foreign security cannot 
confer any privileges on the state which grants it, for 
that state would then become a contracting party, and 
would cease to be a guaranteeing power. A cabinet 
arrogating other functions under these circumstances, 
openly violates international law, and presents the 'spec- 


tacle of arbitrary interference in the affairs of other states 
exercised by usurpation, and tolerated by weakness. 

The result is prejudicial to the Moldo-Wallachians, 
and injurious to their acknowledged sovereign, the 
Sultan : the interests of those two parties are identical ; 
and were it advantageous to the former, it would be so 
likewise to the latter ; but the intrusion of an unautho- 
rized protector between a sovereign and his subjects can 
never be a matter for congratulation ; and it cannot, 
therefore, be called robbing Peter to pay Paul — it is rob- 
bing both Peter and Paul, to pay another who is no 
friend to either, and in a species of coin which enjoys 
the most favoured currency with that other, as there is 
nothing more agreeable to Russia than a little meddling 
and mischief-making in a neighbour's dominions. A 
remarkable ilkistration of her taste in this respect is 
afforded by the next historical phasis of any importance 
in the existence of the Danubian principalities, which 
took place about nine years after the conclusion of the 
treaty of Bucharest. 

When the Greek revolution broke out in 1S21, the 
Wallachians, secretly instigated by Russia, again revolted 
against their sovereign, in the hope of recovering the 
independence which they had enjoyed previously to their 
submission to the Porte. Their attempt resulted in 
total failure ; principally through the inefficiency of their 
most prominent leader, Prince Alexander Ypsilanti, who 
was the son of one of the Greek Hospodars, and who held, 
at the time of the insurrection, the rank of brigadier-gene- 
ral in the Russian army. His jealousy and distrust of a 
native partizan, who simultaneously took up arms in the 


cause of his country, and who soon attained equal, if not 
superior authority in the insurrection, was also instru- 
mental in frustrating the exertions of both chiefs ; for, 
had they acted in unison, they might have obtained 
some concessions at least from Turkey ; but when the 
latter perceived that no accord existed between them, she 
found no difficulty in suppressing the rebellion, and in 
re-establishing order on the terms which appeared to her 
most favourable to the interests of Wallachia. 

The native leader was an officer of Pandours, by name 
Theodore Vladimiresco, who had served in the last cam- 
paign against Turkey ; as soon as he heard of Ypsilanti's 
advance, he went with about fifty Albanians to Little 
Wallachia, where he succeeded in raising a few thousand 
men, and then he marched to Bucharest. The Hos- 
podar, Alexander Soutzo, had died suddenly, and the 
Porte had named Prince Callimachi to succeed him. 
Delegates from the latter, who was still at Constanti- 
nople, arrived in the principality, and made amicable 
overtures to Vladimiresco ; but he replied, that he would 
not allow the new Hospodar to cross the Danube until a 
constitution should be granted. Anarchy and confusion 
ensued ; the timid Boyars fled to Austria and Russia ; 
trade and agriculture were abandoned ; and malefactors 
took advantage of the circumstances of the country to 
commit crimes of all kinds. Russia had thus attained 
the main object of her policy. 

Ypsilanti, meanwhile, approached the chief town of 
Wallachia with a band of followers, belonging for the 
most part to the celebrated Greek conspiracy, known by 
the name of the Hetairia, and he took up his position at 


Colintina, the country-house of the Ghika family, within 
a mile of the town. The two chiefs met ; but they did 
not come to any understanding with regard to the future 
direction of the revolution. They were guided by dif- 
ferent motives ; and, although they had the same imme- 
diate aim in \iew, there were many points on which they 
could not agree. Yladimiresco was only desirous of im- 
proving the corrupt system of government which had 
oppressed the principahty, and of raising it from the 
abject position in which it had lain supine under the 
abominable rule of the Greeks ; Ypsilanti, himself a 
Greek, and son of a Hospodar, felt no sympathy in 
such a cause, and was, in fact, employed by Russia for 
the express purpose of precipitating Moldo-Wallachia 
into serious difficulties : the Wahachian was by no means 
hostile to Turkey, provided the fate of his country were 
ameliorated under her ; the Greek was a member of that 
secret society, whose purpose Avas the overthrow of the 
Ottoman power of Europe ; and he was the agent of 
Russia, who was straining every nerve to embarrass the 
administration of the Sultan in any part of his empire, 
where he could succeed in doing so. The disunion of the 
two leaders was, therefore, a natural result of the con- 
flicting nature of their respective missions and interests. 
Yladimiresco withdrew to the convent of Kotrotsheni, 
and Ypsilanti fell back on Tirgovist, the ancient capital 
of Wallachia. Russia, following her usual system of con- 
duct in such circumstances, disavowed the operations of 
her general, after having encouraged him to embark in 
the enterprise ; and Turkey prepared to put down the 
insurrection. An army of 300,000 men was sent across 


the Danube, under the command of the Kiahia Bay, 
governor of Silistria. Yladimiresco retired from Kotrot- 
sheni towards the small town of Pitesti. Ypsilanti, 
seeing this movement, suspected that the Wallachian 
leader had submitted to the Turks, and that he was en- 
deavouring to cut off the retreat of the Greeks by inter- 
cepting them in the rear, with the view of assisting the 
Ottoman force ; he therefore had him seized at Golesti, 
on his way to Pitesti, and he ordered that he should 
immediately be conveyed to Tirgovist. A semblance of 
a trial took place there; the patriot was condemned 
without defence or evidence against him, and he was put 
to death by his rival. Some of his troops joined the 
Hetairists, and the remainder were disbanded. The 
rebels were soon threatened with an overwhelming at- 
tack on the part of the Turks ; their provisions were 
failing them, and their feeble chief resolved on seeking 
security in a hurried retreat. The Sacred Battalion 
alone, formed of enthusiastic young men belonging to 
the first families, who had taken that classical title, was 
eager to meet the enemy. Their desire was consum- 
mated at Drageshan, a spot where laurels should spring 
up spontaneously as at Virgil's tomb, for they fell to a 
man without once breaking their ranks. The revolu- 
tionary army was totally routed, and its general escaped 
into Austria, where he died in prison after lingering 
several years in confinement. 

Thus ended the second episode of Russian benevolence 
towards the Danubian principalities, which were left in 
a state of com.plete disorganization, overrun by brigands 
from among the disbanded Pandours and Arnaouts, the 


towns deserted, and the country uncultivated. It had 
one advantageous effect, hovrever, as the provinces were 
reheved from the corrupt, tyrannical, and arbitrary sway 
of the Greeks, who were no longer employed by the 
Turks ; and the Moldo-Wallachians have since then been 
allowed to elect their princes from among themselves; 
but this boon was not due to Russia, and, indeed, it was 
contrary to her interests and policy, for the servile and 
venal Greeks were more useful to her than the native 
heads of the provincial governments. The Sultan re- 
stored this privilege to his subjects, notwithstanding 
their having revolted against him, and in spite of the 
opposition of Russia; all former errors wxre cancelled, 
and the principalities were reinstated in their pristine 
enjoyment of native administration. 

This act of clemency on the part of the Ottoman Porte 
offended Russia, and a coolness existed for some time 
between the two cabinets in consequence of it. Prince 
Gregory Ghika was quietly ruhng, meanw^hile, in Walla- 
chia; and Prince John Sturza in Moldavia, although 
neither of them was recognised by the court of St. Peters- 
burg as a legitimate Hospodar. The misunderstanding 
between the two great rivals became embarrassing, and at 
last the treaty of Ackermann was concluded in 1826, with 
the view of defining their relative positions. A separate 
deed was annexed to it, in which the rights of the Danu- 
bian principalities were recapitulated, but nothing material 
was changed in the conditions of their political existence ; 
and the long-continued ill-humour of the Czar only pro- 
cured him another opportunity of professing a friendship 
towards them which was invariably belied by his acts. 


The peace lasted only two years, however, as war broke 
out in 1828, in consequence of the battle of Navarino, 
that memorable " untoward event," as it was felicitously jj 
styled. A Russian army, under the command of Count 
Wittgenstein, hastened across the river Pruth. On their 
approach, the native princes resigned their authority, and 
Count Pahlen assumed the reins of government, under 
the title of President of the Divans of the two Princi- 
palities. The unpatriotic Boyars sang paeans in honour 
of the change ; but the people judged truly that it was 
merely a change of masters without any benefit to them, 
and the substitution of an imperious foreigner in the 
place of a lenient native. 

King Stork had succeeded to King Log ; the country was 
not governed, but militarily occupied ; no sufferings w^ere 
alleviated, and the few remaining prerogatives of the 
provinces were abrogated ; it was the same tale of bricks 
without providing straw. The great name of the em- 
peror of Russia was thrown as a cloak over every abuse ; 
his mysterious power, wielded by occult intrigues and 
secret agents, inspired respect not unmingled with awe, 
and enhanced the terror of his invading arms, as a mist 
magnifies the moon. Their success was complete. The 
Wallachian fortresses of Ibraha, Giurgevo, Turno, and 
Kale, held by the Turks, were ably besieged ; and several 
advantageous engagements took place between them and 
the Russians in Little Wallachia, the native troops of the 
principalities being embodied in the ranks of the latter. 
The operations of the first campaign terminated with the 
fall of Varna ; in the next, the army, commanded by the 
notorious Marshal Diebitsch, crossed the Balkans, and 


entered Adrianople, that second capital of European 
Turkey. Negotiations commenced, and a treaty of peace 
was concluded. Its fifth article is exclusively on the 
subject of the Danubian principalities, and, with its 
annexed- clause, it offers a singular specimen of praise- 
worthy principles vaunted in theory, which have ever 
been repudiated in practice : every kind of liberty was 
nominally secured to the provinces on paper, and none 
was allowed to them, in fact, by the self-appointed guar- 
dian of that liberty ; — the northern bear, as usual, played 
the part of the wolf in the fable taking care of the lamb. 
An organic law was framed by the Prussian dictator, Count 
Kisseleff ; a general and radical reform was proposed ; 
the ancient and defective modes of administration were 
condemned ; a new system was planned. A soi-disant 
representation of the people was instituted ; the principal 
authorities were declared responsible ; a disciplined army 
was to be enrolled, and regular tribunals, just and im- 
maculate, were to be estabhshed. All this was most 
admirable; but strangers were in possession of the 
principalities. An army of occupation, and a foreign pro- 
visional government, were the only practical results which 
the Moldo-Wallachians realized after so many illusory 
projects and promises which had been held out to them, and 
these two real afflictions were suffered for five years. 

In the year 1834, Alexander Ghika, a brother of the 
last prince of Wallachia, was placed at the head of the 
government. Although corruption and oppression still 
continued to be the principal characteristics of the 
administration, and little or nothing was altered in the 
system in spite of all the sonorous phrases which had been 

VOL. I. X 


uttered on the subject of reform, the new Hospodar was 
generally admitted to be the best who had ever ruled in 
Wallachia. His career was, however, cut short by the 
intrigues of an artful and ambitious Boyar, by name 
George Bibesco. Favoured by Russia, and backed by a 
numerous band of partisans, who hoped to enrich them- 
selves through his promised connivancb at malversation 
and abuse of office, this bold schemer succeeded in 
inducing the Assembly of Boyars to sign an address 
exposing the manifold grievances of the country ; these 
were certainly neither small nor few, and they were 
undoubtedly far from being unfounded ; but they did not 
then exist to a greater extent than they had done under 
other Hospodars, and it is undeniable that they had not 
reached so enormous a degree as they did subsequently, 
when the principle complainant himself became the prince 
of Wallachia. Russia promptly took advantage of a clause 
in the treaty of Adrianople, which sanctions the dismissal 
of a Hospodar who has been found guilty of such faults ; 
and she obtained the concurrence of the Porte for the 
removal of Prince Ghika from his post. George Bibesco 
was appointed to it in his stead. 

An absurd aflfectation of national enthusiasm, the 
most profound hypocrisy, and a well-sustained and con- 
tinual display of a high order of Machiavellic talent in 
all his actions, were the most salient features of Prince 
Bibesco's character as Hospodar. Patriotic pilgrimages 
to the tomb of Michael the Brave, one of the ancient 
prmces who had distingushed himself by a chivalrous 
love of his country, and the assiduous distribution of 
prints of himself in the costume of that warrior chief. 


were affairs of state with George Bibesco ; but while he 
was meditating over the ashes of a dead hero at Tir- 
govist, like Charles V. in the mausoleum of Charlemagne, 
at Aix-la-Chapelle, and fancying himself a small Napoleon 
Buonaparte apostrophising the mortal remains of Frede- 
rick the Great, the people who had been committed to his 
charge were examining his conduct towards the living 
Wallachians, and weighing him in a balance in which he 
was found wanting. A number of young men, several of 
them of high rank, who had received their education in the 
west of Europe, and had drawn a sad comparison, on their 
return to Bucharest, between the actual state of their 
country and the results of the enlightened government 
which they had witnessed abroad, had set themselves 
apart from the low standard of society in Wallachia, and 
were canvassing the means of raising the principality 
from its deplorable ruins. 

The consideration of the rich endowments which 
nature has so prodigally lavished on that favoured 
land, and the examination of the eminently fortunate 
disposition of its population, fired their enthusiastic 
minds with bright hopes of future national prosperity ; 
while the review of the unprofitable manner in which 
the soil is occupied, and the investigation of the unfair 
condition of the peasantry, roused a generous indignation 
in the rising party against the iniquitous conduct of the 
majority of the Boyars. The undue influence of Russia, 
too, became an object for their serious reflection, and 
they soon conceived the most inveterate abhorrence of 
that obnoxious power. Gifted with no mean talents, 
which had been successfully cultivated, supported in 



their arduous task by untiring perseverance, and by 
indomitable personal courage, some of tliem stimulated 
also by the most vigorous personal ambition, and 
several of them possessing considerable private fortune, 
which they willingly sacrificed in the common cause, 
they became a formidable faction in the province, whose 
collective enlightenment and individual sagacity were 
more than a match for the weak, ignorant, and corrupt 
intellects of those in power. They boldly accepted the 
mission, which seemed to be assigned to them by the 
miserable lot of their suffering fellow-countrymen, and 
by their own peculiar circumstances, and they com- 
menced their political crusade with ardent anticipations 
of success. 

The first step in the healing art is to lay open 
and probe the wound; for this purpose they devoted 
themselves to journalism, before proceeding to action. 
They turned over and thoroughly sifted the rubbish 
of the middle ages produced by the crumbling fabrics 
of obsolete institutions, which choked and stifled the 
growth and development of the prodigious resources of 
Wallachia. The truth was displayed in an irresistible 
light, and converts flocked to their patriotic banner. 
An insurrectionary spirit was spreading rapidly in the 
comitry. When Prince Bibesco became aware of it, he 
was vain and silly enough to suppose that he could 
guide and use it as a means of personal aggrandizement. , 
In the political convulsions and social wars of 1848, 
he saw elements of the complete overthrow of both 
the Turkish and the Russian empires ; and he indulged 
in the fond delusion that he was the chosen instrument 


for the foundation of an independent state, of vvhicli he 
would be proclaimed king. His almost open encourage- 
ment was the spark which fired the train ; his confidential 
advisers were seen conspiring with the others; none 
were ignorant of the existence of crying evils, both 
social and political ; a few were known to be active 
in the search for their remedy ; no measures were taken 
to oppose them, and all were thus prepared for a sudden 

A revolution took place. Its chief cry was, "Faire 
du fruit du travail un droit de propriete;" and, of 
a truth, if there be a country in Europe in which 
such a principle is required, that country is Walla- 
chia, where the peasants are ground down by forced 
labour for the government, and by cultivation for 
their lords, without the faculty of possessing an inch 
of soil for themselves. Besides this, the correction 
of flagrant abuses in the administration, a proper and 
bond fide representation of the people, the abolition of 
privileges, and above all, the expulsion of Russian 
influence, were aimed at by this movement. A con- 
stitution was drawn up, with the view of realizing the 
reforms proposed. It Avas presented to Prince Bibesco 
by a crowd of the inhabitants, who collected around 
his palace, under the guidance of these who had 
composed it ; and he signed it, accepting all the con- 
ditions which were offered to him, in the belief that 
the change would place a crown on his head. He 
was soon undeceived, however, when he perused, on 
the following day, a violent protest, which the Russian 
consul-general, Monsieur de Kotzebue, lodged in the 


name of the Czar ; and, fearing the consequences of 
assuming the responsibility of what had occurred, he 
resigned the authority with which he was invested, 
although he could do so only into the hands of the 
Sultan. Perceiving that the game was lost, he threw 
up his cards, and suddenly left the country in despair. 
A provisional government was formed by the authors 
of the revolution, and the Herculean labours of reform 
were commenced. 

Monsieur Kotzebue, meanwhile, had struck his flag 
and retired from the capital, declining to recognise, or 
hold any communication with, the new administration -, 
and his correspondent, Monsieur Titoff, the Russian 
minister at Constantinople, had addressed the most 
urgent remonstrances to the Porte on the bloodless col- 
lision between the people and their rulers at Bucharest, 
which he denounced as a puerile imitation of the recent 
rising up in judgment of the paving-stones of Paris, 
where the streets were strewed with corpses. The phi- 
lanthropic scheme of abolishing Wallachian servitude by 
apportioning the land in freehold tenu.e to the extent 
which the serfs were respectively allowed to cultivate on 
their own account, as was the case in many enlightened 
countries, when the feudal laws of the middle ages were 
abrogated, was represented as a violation of the rights 
of property ,- and a horrible picture of the complete dis- 
organization of society was portrayed in vivid colours to 
alarm the Sultan, because the pusillanimous Boyars had 
followed their traditional habit of taking to flight on the 
first appearance of a violent change. The Ottoman 
government, therefore, resolved on despatching a dele- 


gate to watch over the welfare of the Danubian princi- 
paUties, and Soleyman Pasha was entrusted with this 
mission. When he reached Giurgevo, he recognised 
the existing government. Russia refused to do so, for 
she saw at once that it could not suit her views that a 
portion of the Turkish empire should advance in pro- 
sperity ; and it did not suit her views that liberal insti- 
tutions should be established so near the frontiers of 
her own empire. • Monsieur Kotzebue, therefore, still 
remained at Galatz, whither he had retired, and Monsieur 
TitofF renewed his manoeuvres at Constantinople with 
increased energy. He went so far as to suspend amicable 
relations with the Sultan's government. The latter, 
unwilling that a war should ensue without having, at 
least, attempted further to arrange matters, appointed 
Fuad Effendi, a distinguished statesman, commissioner 
in the Danubian principalities, and recalled Soleyman 
Pasha. The new representative of the Porte soon ar- 
rived in Wallachia, and he was accompanied by General 
Duhamel, a Russian diplomatist, who had been employed 
on two former occasions at Bucharest, and who now 
returned as commissioner of the Czar. They were backed 
by a strong Turkish force, under the command of Omer 
Pasha. The convent of Kotrotsheni, on the outskirts of 
the town, was selected as a suitable place for their head- 
quarters, and the members of the provisional government 
were invited to meet the commissioners there, for the 
purpose of considering the state of the country. 

The presence of the Russian agent precluded the possi- 
bility of Fuad Effendi coming to a satisfactory understand- 
ing with the reformers ; and, after a short discussion, 


in which it soon became evident that a compromise was 
hopeless, Omer Pasha marched into the town with the 
troops. Some resistance was offered by a corps of 
Wallachians, but it was soon overcome ; and the career 
of the revolutionary party was cut short, after existing 
only three months. Constantine Cantacuzene, a Boyar 
in the Russian interests, was named Cai'macan, or Lieu- 
tenant of the province ; the old system was again 
installed, and a furious persecution commenced against 
those who had sought to better the condition of their 
fellow-countrymen. Some of them took refuge at the 
British consulate, and many left the principality under the 
protection of passports granted to them by that authority. 
In this we only followed the invariable principles of 
England, who extends a generous and fearless hospitality 
to political exiles of every class, from every country, and 
in every cause ; but the Russian party were so ex- 
asperated by it, that they did not scruple to spread the 
most malignant and calumnious reports on the subject 
of our foreign policy. 

Another arrangement was concluded between Turkey 
and Russia, known by the name of that of Balta-Liman; 
it sanctioned the armed occupation of the Danubian 
principalities by Russia, and the residence of her com- 
missioner at Bucharest, to further her schemes in concert 
with her consul-general. The latter returned to his 
post with hordes of Cossacks, who immediately rushed 
across the frontier, and with herds of Boyars, who 
eagerly regained their luxurious pasturage, as soon as it 
was secured by foreign lances from the inroads of the 
ravenous wolves, disinterested patriotism, liberal insti- 


tutions, and enlightened administration ; and the previous 
mode of exercising and undergoing predominant influ- 
ence was resumed, old abuses were revived, and the 
prosperity of the country, which had for a moment 
struggled to rise into existence, again succumbed under 
the incubus of former years. 

A Hospodar was appointed in the person of the pre- 
sent Prince Stirbey, the brother of the last Prince George 
Bibesco, and he continues to direct the affairs of Wal- 
lachia, with the assistance of the two imperial commis- 

History, therefore, proves that the connexion which 
has existed between the Moldo-VVallachians and the 
court of Russia has never been otherwise than most 
eminently prejudicial to the former; but, in justice to 
the Czar, it must be admitted that all the evils arising 
from the exercise of influence by Russia in the princi- 
palities, cannot be traced to St. Petersburg ; and how- 
ever unfavourable may be the broad facts of the case, 
still the imperial cabinet must be acquitted of many 
charges which are often brought against it, and which 
might be more equitably preferred against its agents 




When Radu Negm, or Black Rudolph, the first ruler of 
Wallachia, , founded its ancient polity in the thirteenth 
century, he assumed the title of Domnu, or Lord ; his 
successors were called Vo'ivodes, which means General-in- 
Chief in the Sclavonic dialects ; and the adoption of this 
term is said to have been consequent on the schism of 
the Eastern church, to which the Wallachians belonged, 
and which introduced a Sclavonic Liturgy to mark the 
estrangement from the church of Rome. Hospodar is 
likewise a Sclavonic word, signifying Lord, and it was 
also appropriated by the rulers of Wallachia before its 
incorporation in the Ottoman Empire, as well as by the 
subsequent Governors-general ; but it was only by the 
Fanariotes during the last century that the title of Prince 
was affected, as a translation of the rank of Bey conferred 
on them by the Sultan. This princely dignity is, therefore, 
of doubtful legitimacy, and when it is considered that the 
functions exercised are exclusively authorized by a Firman 
of the Porte, and that the rank of Vezir was formerly 
granted with them, that of J^/rfer being now substituted 
for it ; the title of Prince is no more applicable to those 

BOYARS. 315 

functionaries than it would be to any other Pasha of a 
province, although Wallachia, Moldavia, and Serbia, have 
received privileges not generally enjoyed. But the love 
of high-sounding honours is one of the besetting sins of 
the Danubian populations, which they derived from the 
traditions of the Imperial court of Byzantium, which 
were engrafted by their Greek satraps on the essentially 
democratical institutions of the country. 

In Moldo-Waliachia the monarchical, and even the 
feudal principle never existed. The Bomnu was elected 
by universal suffrage from amongst all the classes of the 
inhabitants, Boyars, Priests, and Peasants ; the first 
being the soldiery, from the word ho'iu, which is a cor- 
ruption of the Latin helium. These warriors were not 
mercenary troops, but levies of all those who were ca- 
pable of bearing arms ; but in time of war they wxre 
exempted from the payment of all taxes and contri- 
butions of every kind; and this is the origin of the 
existing aristocracy, which, though not hereditary, is still 
thus privileged. It is the official caste, occupying civil 
as well as military posts, for they are now all designated 
as Boyars, or fighting men, and their respective rank, 
whether that of a judge or of a chamberlain, or of 
any other functionary, is classed by military titles which 
indicate the grade of nobility, and not the functions 
fulfilled. The son of a Boyar, if not employed under 
Government, becomes the equal of any peasant, and the 
humble cultivator who enters the public service, may 
rise to the rank of Bomnu, 

Thus, the descendants of Myrtshea, who commanded 
as Hospodai' the Wallachian Boyars at the battle of 


Nicopolis, are now following the plough; while the 
grandfather of Prince Barbo Stirbey, at present adminis- 
tering the affairs of the country, was a herdsman, his 
family name, which signifies the Toothless, having been 
assumed by him with an estate left him by a person who 
bore that sobriquet. 

At first landed property was held either as piivate 
domains by the rich, or as commons by the poor inha- 
bitants of the villages, and it could be sold in either 
case. As families amassed wealth, they bought up the 
soil from many of the communities to extend their 
estates, and a pauper class was thus created. The latter 
worked for the great proprietors, and gradually became 
their serfs, by selling themselves and their families for 
ever, in years of famine, occasioned by the frequent 
wars and invasions, for a few bushels of grain. Michael, 
surnamed the Brave, confirmed this pernicious system 
in the sixteenth century, and extended it to the whole 
agricultural population, which he attached to the glebe, 
as it then was in the neighbouring kingdoms of Hungary 
and Poland, in the hope that he might thus constitute a 
powerful state like them. And this miserable policy 
has entailed on the country its present wretched con- 
dition, although the originator of the existing evils be 
lauded and revered as the national hero. The last blow 
was struck by the organic law, instituted during the 
Russian occupation ; and the unfortunate peasant then 
found himself amenable also to forced labour, without 
wages ; the legal number of days per annum was fixed 
at twenty-four ; but the manner in which it is exacted 
deprives him of no less than sixty days' work, Bad as 


this may seem, it is, however, a light burden compared 
with that which is borne by the population of the 
Military Frontiers of Austria, where the peasants give 
three-fourths of their time for nothing, instead of one- 
fifth as the Wallachians do. But, if the state of the 
lower classes be degraded, it is infinitely less depraved 
than that of the Boyars. 

The Wallachians call themselves Rumoons, their lan- 
guage Rumaned, and their country Tsare Bumaneascay 
or Terra Roniana, with the addition of the Sclavonic 
termination of the adjective. The patois they speak 
certainly contains a great many words of Latin origin, 
but there are also a vast number of Sclavonian terms, 
besides several adopted from the Turkish and the 
modern Greek. Language, however, is not an infallible 
test of descent, and the Dacians may have partially 
assumed that of their Roman conquerors, as well as of 
other invaders who subsequently overran the country. 
The allegation that the original inhabitants were alto- 
gether extirpated can hardly be believed ; and it is 
equally improbable that the posterity of Trajan's colonies 
should have been kept pure from all amalgamation with 
the different tribes who afterwards occupied their terri- 
tory in succession. It is, therefore, reasonable to 
suppose that the Wallachian race, like their language, 
is a compound of Dacian, Eoman, and Sclavonian, — 
elements, in which it may be admitted that the Roman 
predominates. The national party, as it is called, that 
is, the few individuals who dare openly to oppose the 
Russian influence, and with whom originated the revo- 
lution of 1848, assert that Wallachia is more Roman 


than Rome herself; they claim kindred with the French 
as a cognate race, and they expect assistance from them 
against the common enemy. Monsieur de Lamartine's 
Manifesto is all that they have as yet obtained, and it 
was, doubtless, useful to them as a model for the patriotic 
proclamations of their Provisional Government, — full 
of fine sentiments and devoid of good sense. 

Mr. Borrow's works are somewhat damaging to the 
classical pretensions of the Bumoons, as he shows that 
the Gipsies in every part of Europe call themselves 
Bomani, and he traces satisfactorily that appellation 
to a Sanscrit root. Now, Wallachia was the first coun- 
try in which that singular people halted, and there are 
more of them even now to be found there than any- 
where else. It is not proved at what period the name 
of Bumoons was introduced among the Wallachians, 
who were originally known under the title of Wlachs ; 
and the high-sounding denomination of the present day 
might perhaps have been derived from the Gipsies, 
rather than from the Romans. 

Tn Wallachia, the Gipsies, 25,000 in number, are 
slaves. Many of them are brought up in families of all 
classes of society, and there are instances, even among 
the highest, of consanguinity between the two races. 

When they first appeared in the Danubian provinces, 
in the year 1413, there were only 3,000 of them, but 
other bands of the same race soon followed. They were 
supposed by some to be spies sent by the Turks to recon- 
noitre Christendom, preparatory to their intended inva- 
sion ; others believed them to be Egyptians on a religious 
pilgrimage; and they artfully endeavoured to confirm 


this latter opinion, which obtained for them protection 
from the authorities. Learned divines searched the 
Holy Scriptures for an explanation, and found the 12th 
verse of the xxixth chapter of the Book of the Prophet 
Ezekiel, and the 26th verse of the xxxth chapter, in which 
it was foretold that the Egyptians would be scattered 
among the nations, and dispersed through the countries ; 
and the coincidence was supposed to be strengthened by 
the statement of the Gipsies themselves, some of whom 
announced to the Wallachians that they had been con- 
demned by Heaven, for their apostasy from Christianity, 
to wander for seven years ; while others declared that a 
famine had driven them out of their own land. The 
Church adopted the belief, that this infliction had fallen 
upon them as a punishment for the refusal of their 
ancestors to receive our Lord, when carried thither by the 
Virgin Mary and Joseph, to escape from the persecution 
of Herod. 

They passed themselves off as holy penitents, and, 
when they sought to extend their pilgrimage westwards, 
they obtained, in virtue of their assumed sanctity, 
safe-conducts from Wladislaus II, king of Hungary, and 
Sigismund, king of Poland, as well as permission from 
the Pope, to wander about Christendoui. They con- 
tinued to live in security in Wallachia, appearing in 
bands rarely exceeding a hundred, and exercising 
their industry as tinkers, fortune-tellers, and thieves, as 
they did in the remainder of Europe, where the latter 
propensity soon deprived them of respect, and decrees 
were passed to banish them from several States, in which 
a persecution of them commenced, and they were put 
to death in great numbers. But they still led a roving 


life, with the sole difference that they were obliged to 
conceal their habitual resorts in forests and desert places, 
instead of pitching tlieir camps on the outskirts of every 
town and village, as they had done ; offering thus the 
unprecedented spectacle of a foreign people infesting 
every country of Europe, without living in common with 
any nation, which cannot be said of the Jews, for they 
are always to be found where the haunts of men are 
most crowded. 

When they first came to Wallachia, the Gipsies called 
their chiefs and leaders by the Sclavonic title of Vo'ivodeSj 
and it has been retained in other countries, although they 
also talk of their ancient knights, counts, dukes, and 
even kings ; — Duke Michael being one of the most dis- 
tinguished, perhaps identical with the Wallachian prince, 
Michael the Brave ; and King Zindelo being also much 
revered by them, as well as Count John, the great Duke 
Panuel, and the noble Knight Peter, to whose memory 
monuments have been erected. On the confines of 
Wallachia and Hungary, they still have vowodes, dressed 
with tawdry splendour and loaded with precious stones. 
When one of them is elected, he is lifted three times from 
the ground in an open field, in order that the whole 
assembled tribe may see him; and then they utter 
wild screams of dehght, and invest him with the insignia 
of his office, consisting of a large and heavy whip, of 
which their own shoulders are destined to feel the w^eight 
when they are convicted of any misdemeanour. The 
lineal descendants of vo'ivodes only are eligible, the heredi- 
tary and elective principles being thus combined ; and 
they always choose a man of middle age and lofty stature, 
which with them inspires, and probably enforces, respect. 


Their attachment to their chief is so great that, when 
he is held responsible for any of their thefts, the offender 
immediately confesses and surrenders himself into the 
hands of justice, to save the voivode; and this mode of 
discovering crime among them is frequently practised by 
the authorities. 

The Gipsies do not seem to have brought any religion 
with them to Europe, and they readily adopted that 
of the country through which they passed ; those who 
came to Wallachia by the provinces of Asia Minor, 
then subject to the Turks, being Mahometans, and 
others, who had travelled over the dominions of the 
Greek empire, having embraced Christianity; but in 
general, even now, they do not believe in the immor- 
tality of the soul, and their philosophy is wholly 
material. At first there was a community of every- 
thing among them ; and they then, by all accounts, 
supplied an apt example of the effects of some of the 
doctrines on society, now fashionable among the French ; 
and if Proudhon, Considerant, and others, would investi- 
gate the moral state the Gipsies were in, when they came 
to Wallachia, and some time afterwards, they might lose 
conceit of the efficacy of their favourite theories. The 
Emperor Joseph of Austria is the only sovereign who 
ever attempted to restrain their excesses ; but his philan- 
thropic endeavours utterly failed; — in vain he educated 
their children, and did everything he could to reclaim 
them from their degraded habits ; and, as far as vice is 
concerned, they are now very much in the same state as 
that in which they were wdien they came from the East 
nearly four centuries and a half ago. 

VOL. I. Y 


In the west of Europe they have lost many of the 
customs and characteristics of their race ; but in the 
Danubian provinces they seem still to be almost what 
they were in the 15th century. They are strong, 
well-built, handsome, and very swarthy; excellent 
musicians, thieves by nature and by profession, averse 
to agriculture, given to chiromancy; fond of poi- 
soning cattle, and of begging for the carcases, on which 
they feed ; and capable of selling a stolen horse, mule, 
or donkey to its owner, after changing its colour. Their 
dress is generally worn without change until it falls oflp 
their persons in rags too much tattered to be kept toge- 
ther any longer. They are great talkers, passionate and 
violent, and they are incorrigible drunkards. So cruel 
is their disposition, that they take the greatest delight 
in performing the functions of public executioners, and 
that revolting office is generally held by them. 

In 1782 even a case of cannibalism was proved against 
them ; it was minutely investigated by a commission sent 
by the government for that purpose; and forty-five of them 
were executed at Kameza and Esabrag, after confessing 
their crime, and specifying that sons had killed and eaten 
their fathers, that eighty-four travellers had been waylaid 
and devoured by them in the course of a few years, and 
that, on one occasion, at a marriage feast, three of the 
guests had been put to death, and cooked for the enter- 
tainment of the remainder. All this was legally proved ; 
and several old Spanish writers also accuse them of being 
cannibals. Nothing of this kind is heard of now-a-days 
among them, but petty offences are rife, and they are 
often to be seen undergoing a punishment partaking 


somewhat of the nature of our stocks, but portable ; as 
it consists of a heavy cleft stick, which clasps their neck 
and arms ; probably a remnant of the Roman fork as 
described by Dionysius. They are not communists now, 
as they are slaves, being bought at about 10/. each ; but 
not often in public ; and, by the payment of a tax to 
government varying from 10<^. to 3/. per annum for every 
adult male, whole tribes of them escape servitude, and 
wander about. This capitation tax is generally paid in 
grains of gold which they find in the auriferous sand of 
the Wallachian and Moldavian streams. They separate 
the precious metal from the sand by placing sheep-skins 
in the current, which are then washed in troughs of lime- 
wood about five feet long and two in breadth ; several 
channels run along them to convey the lighter particles 
out of them, and the grains of gold remain in the wool, 
from which they are carefully extracted. May not this 
be a vestige of an ancient practice of Colchis, and explain 
the golden fleece that poor Jason took so much trouble 
about ? 

The Gipsies' huts in Wallachia are constructed by 
digging holes in sloping ground ; a few branches with 
sods form the roof, and the side where the level is lowest 
is closed by a coarse woollen curtain, serving as door, 
window, and chimney. As human dwelling-places, I 
never saw anything that could in the least be compared 
to them, excepting some of the cabins of Connaught. 

In the course of my inquiries regarding the Gipsies 
in Wallachia, I conversed with several learned men on 
the subject, and found that the same opinion with re- 
gard to their real origin is now prevalent there, which is 

Y 2 


generally received with us. An anecdote was mentioned 
to me of an English gentleman, who had betn long in 
India, having sent for a blacksmith to mend his carriage 
at a post station near Bucharest, where it had broken 
down, and, when he saw the Gipsy countenance, he 
had addressed him in Hindostanee; the blacksmith 
kissed his hand with the greatest respect, and congratu- 
lated him on having succeeded in attaining wealth and 
rank, instead of continuing to lead the roving and 
wretched life of his tribe, wherever it might be, as he 
took him for a brother Gipsy. And I was told that 
the language they speak among themselves in Wallachia 
contains eleven or twelve words of pure Hindostanee in 
thirty of their own, which fact upset the belief in their 
Egyptian origin, and substituted that of their belonging 
to the Malabar race. They bear the name of Tsingani 
all over the Turkish empire, and scholastic Greeks have 
attemptod to trace it to that of the Attingani, a remnant 
of which sect of heretics they conjectured might have 
reached the Danubian plain ; others attributed to them 
a connexion with the African Zeugitana, or the city of 
Singara in Mesopotamia, from which they might have 
been driven by Julian the Apostate ; and they were also 
supposed to be the Canaanites expelled by Joshua from 
the Mauritanian Tingitane; while their habit of addressing 
each other " mor€y' gave rise to a theory of their being 
the Amorites, which is, however, solely owing to their 
passage through the Greek empire, where it is a common 
interjection. They were even called the lost tribes of 
Israel, who had renounced, or affected to renounce, their 
Mosaic faith during the persecution of the Jews in the 


middle ages, or the Tatars of Timur, who invaded 
Western Asia in 1401, or a portion of the followers of 
Gengis Khan. But all these surmises have been refuted 
by several erudite Greeks, who studied the subject, and 
identified the name of Tsingani with TsincaU, which the 
Wallachian Gipsies explained to be, " the black men 
of the Tsend, Scinde, or Jud," leaving thus beyond a 
doubt the fact that they had come from Hindostan on 
its being ravaged by the conqueror Timur Beg, in 1408 
and 1409. 

Another circumstance tended to strengthen this solu- 
tion of the problem, which was that, on their first 
appearance in Wallachia, they possessed gold and pre- 
cious stones, and paid for everything they received: 
they must therefore have been a people saving them- 
selves and their property from an enemy; and there 
was no other invasion at that particular time which could 
be reconciled with their circumstances, whereas that 
of Timur Beg coincides perfectly, as it is recorded that 
100,000 of the natives were put to death by him, and 
all who could be taken were enslaved ; which facts would 
account for the flight of great numbers of people, so 
notoriously un warlike, that it is impossible to suppose 
they could ever have emigrated on an aggressive expedi- 
tion. They probably went through the southern parts 
of Persia to the mouth of the Euphrates, and through 
Arabia to Egypt, whence they may have passed by 
Palestine and Asia Minor to Constantinople and the 
Danubian provinces, w^here they first rested in a body, 
only a few having remained in Egypt, to prove, by their 
still being found in the same nomadic state there, that 


they had come from a more distant land. For what 
ultimate purpose it is ordained that they shall thus 
wander, century after century, defying all the ejffects and 
influences of the civilization of other nations with which 
they come in contact, is still a mystery. But, as their 
number appears now to be rapidly decreasing, it is pro- 
bable that, ere many hundred years more shall have 
passed over their heads, they will have entirely disap- 
peared from the face of the earth as a separate race. 

The number of Jews in the Danubian principalities 
is also very considerable, the proportion to the remainder 
of the population being as one to nine. At Bucharest 
they are always to be seen wandering about the streets 
with hurried steps, and quick unsettled glances, pene- 
trating every one, and judging where there is most to be 
gained. When they thhik they have a chance of profit, 
they fall upon their prey, and ofier to do anything he 
likes for nothing, buy or sell equally at an immense loss, 
or act as broker at his own expense, in business of vast 
commercial importance, or of the most menial and 
immoral description, with the same alacrity. A few of 
them are eminent bankers and rich money-changers, but 
the great majority devote themselves especially to the 
service of foreigners and travellers by keeping inns and 
acting as guides. Most of them speak German. They 
are extremely rigorous in the observance of their reli- 
gious ordinances and traditional customs ; and their . 
uncompromising faith, burdened with trivial prejudices, 
successfully prohibits their eating with unwashed hands, 
but it does not succeed in keeping those hands, though 
washed, from picking and stealing : they will not cook 


your food at the inn or light your fire on a Saturday ; 
but they do not hesitate on any other day to make you 
pay ten times its value, and to chicane you in every 
possible, and almost impossible, fashion, so ingenious is 
their avidity. In trade they are formidable competitors 
of every nation and class, for they live so abstemiously, 
and practise so many little artifices for the gaining and 
saving of money, that they can always undersell and 
overpurchase all others. Thus almost the entire com- 
merce of the country, both great and small, is in their 
hands ; but they have a strong predilection for the fur 
trade, wdiich they have completely monopoUsed, — and it 
is a very extensive one in this country. Industrious 
and persevering in their pursuit of wealth, they never 
seek it by simple labour, commencing always by petty 
traffic and usury, which require little physical exertion. 

The principal banker of Bucharest, a man worth mil- 
lions, was selHng matches in the streets not very many 
years ago. They are not, as in Russia, obliged to serve 
in the army; but there is little loss in this to the 
protection of the Turkish empire, if the anecdote be 
true, that, when Sultan Selim once made the attempt to 
form his Israelitish subjects into regiments, 10,000 of 
them were ordered to march, and they petitioned for an 
escort of Turks to enable them to pass in safety through 
a district infested with robbers, the degenerate descen- 
dants of the heroic companions of Joshua and Josephus 
were disbanded in consequence of their pusillanimity. 

The Jews of Wallachia chng to their ignorance, as they 
fear that every attempt to instruct them is dictated by 
projects of conversion ; and they love filth, because they 


tliink that the loathsome disease which it generates, 
does them good by purifying their blood. A missionary 
of the London Society for Promoting Christianity among 
the Jews is attempting to reclaim them from this abject 
condition, and his praiseworthy efforts, as well as the 
influence of his estimable character, may have some 
effect on them, for the Reverend Mr. Mayers is a most 
worthy man. They are still persecuted by the Chris- 
tians, as their kindred in Western Europe were during 
the dark ages ; and at all great fasts and festivals of the 
Church, such as Christmas and Good Friday, they are 
obliged to, shut themselves up in the dread of violence. 

The Jews' quarter was formerly barricaded at night 
by the closing of strong gates, but this is no longer the 
case. A curious custom then prevailed : a long wire or 
rope formed a circle round the roofs of the outermost 
houses, called in Hebrew the Aireph; within it they 
were allowed to carry about what they pleased on the 
Sabbath, but not beyond that sort of barrier, to prevent 
smuggling in contravention of the Mosaic law ; they 
w^re sure that their day of rest would not be desecrated 
in their own quarter by traffic, and the conscientious 
Jews were seen tying even their pocket-handkerchiefs 
round their arms when they emerged from the Aireph, 
in order that they might not be accused before their 
rulers of hawking anything for sale. They prayed to 
the full moon, in those days, firmly believing that they . 
w^ould be saved from sickness or death during the month 
by so doing. They seem to have settled on the Moldo- 
Wallachian plains like a flight of locusts, so much do they 
swarm in every little town. They were necessary to the 


lazy Boyars, by whose extravagance they enriched them- 
selves, and they suffered every species of contumely and 
contempt in order to amass wealth. Proverbially slippery 
in their dealings, their word is always at a discount, and 
the price of their services or wares is made to depend 
on the rank or appearance of the customer : a constant 
warfare is thus sustained between them and their em- 
ployers, and the Jews are the most dissatisfied class of 
the population in consequence, for they are always 
grumbling against their superiors ; if they are ill paid, 
they complain ; and if they succeed in obtaining a high 
price, their exultation is damped by regret at not having 
asked for more. They are essentially malcontents, and 
decidedly democrats, but they are too timid to be 
seriously troublesome ; they exercised, however, in Wal- 
lachia, as they did in Hungary during the Magyar 
struggle, a powerful influence in favour of revolutionary 
changes ; and indeed it appears that they have always 
played a part on the side of liberal institutions in every 
country of Europe where such questions have of late 
been tried by an appeal to arms, their command of specie 
giving them a degree of importance comparatively unfelt 
in piping times of peace. 

Two great distinctions exist among the Jews in 
Wallachia, the Askernazim and the Sephardim. The 
former had migrated to Germany, and thence took 
refuge in Poland at the time of the Crusades, when the 
persecution on the part of the Christians was at its 
height; no less than 2,000,000 of them remained there, 
and a portion of their descendants entered Moldavia and 
Wallachia. The latter, having settled in Spain and 


Portugal, were expelled with the Moors, and came to 
the Ionian Isles and Constantinople, whence a con- 
siderable number of them reached the banks of the 
Danube. The two classes are distinguished chiefly by 
their language, the one speaking German, and the other 

The Askernazim were better treated by the Poles 
than by any other European nation, especially in the 
time of Casimir the Great, who had married a Jewess, 
and she, like Esther, made him another Ahasuerus in 
his conduct towards her people; but the Sephardim 
prospered still more under the Mahometans, and they 
look down on the other class at Bucharest with con- 
tempt, although the Montefioris, Ricardos, and Aguados, 
with whom they may claim kindred, be eclipsed by the 
Rothschilds, Goldsmids, and Eoulds, who are the boast 
of the Askernazim in the aristocracy of wealth, which is 
the only nobility prized by the Jew. These two great 
races of th.e children of Israel in Wallachia are divided 
into four sects : the Talmudic, or those who believe in 
the Talmud ; the Chassidim, or very holy, who reject it ; 
the Cara'is, who are the most moral of the Jews, and 
resemble the Quakers among Christians; and the 
Erankists, who entertain the peculiar doctrine of the 
meritoriousness of assuming the outward forms of other 
rehgions, for the purpose of better deceiving the Goim, 
or Gentiles. The two former are by far the most nume- 
rous at Bucharest, and they are more actuated by hatred 
of Christians than are the two latter. 

The Carais are like the Scribes of old, for they adhere 
strictly to the written law alone, and disallow all tradi- 

SAXONS. ^^^^^ 331 

tion; they speak Greek, German, and Spanish, indis- 
criminately, and mingle with them all, a jargon of the 
Turkish and other Tatar languages which they brought 
with them from the Crimea, several hundred years ago ; 
but I failed in my efforts to ascertain the exact period 
and circumstances of their einigration. They are the 
only branch of the Jewish population in Wallacbia 
which ever devotes itself to agricultural pursuits. The 
Frankists are the most Jesuitical of the Jews, if such an 
expression be admissible : they sneeringly taunt the Wal- 
lachians by asserting that several of their caste have held 
high ecclesiastical rank in the Eastern Christian Church, 
and I believe also in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran 
Churches of Austria and Prussia; and they even claim 
the House of Hapsburgh to be Frankist Jews, descended 
from a pedlar who went to Switzerland in the ninth 
century, as well as one of the ancient kings of Spain, 
whom, however, they do not seem to identify. 

These wanderers of eighteen centuries wear a flowing 
Eastern costume at Bucharest. Their unmarried women 
have their heads uncovered ; but wives and widows wear 
a handkerchief, generally of a bright yellow colour, over 
their jet-black hair, or a cap edged with fur. They are 
rarely handsome, and the prominent eye, the eagle nose, 
and heavy lips, are as remarkable in the streets of Bucha- 
rest on a Saturday morning, as they are on the walls of 
the tomb at Thebes, where the Israehtes are represented 
making bricks under the lash of their taskmasters. 

Another distinct class of the population of Wallachia 
is the Saxon race, which is constantly on the move, ex- 
ercising various crafts and trades on the Danubian plain. 


and then carrying their profits over the Carpathian moan- 
tains to their adopted home in Transylvania. Some 
suppose this colony, now 500,000 in number, to be the 
descendants of the Saxons whom Charlemagne removed 
from the north of Germany, and identify them with the 
strangers mentioned in history as having assisted Bega 
Gujza, King of Hungary, to repulse the invasion of 
Conrade, Emperor of the Romans, and Henry, Duke of 
Austria, in the thirteenth century. Others believe them 
to have come to Transylvania at the time of the Reforma- 
tion, when many Germans fled from the first persecution 
of the followers of Luther ; and this seems to be the most 
likely explanation of their being so far from their native 
regions. They thus took up their position on the con- 
fines of Christendom, where the armies of the Prophet 
could no more reduce them to submission than the 
tortures of the Inquisition had done; and they finally 
obtained great privileges for their aid in the wars of 
Hungary against the Turks. They were always consi- 
dered as free citizens : they were allowed to elect their 
own municipal authorities, and they retained the Protes- 
tant rehgion. The seven towns, which they inhabit, are 
subject to no taxes, excepting those which are self-imposed 
for local purposes. They are tall, strongly built, and 
handsome, — well-clad and alwavs at work , and their fair 
complexion and high cheek-bones mark them at once 
as a northern people among the motley population of 

Last in the catalogue come the Sekui, or Secklers, as 
the Germans call them. There seems to be little doubt 
that they derive their name from the ancient Siculi, of 


whom a colony had been planted by Trajan ; and one of 
the largest districts of Wallachia is still peopled by them, 
and takes its distinctive appellation from them. They 
are almost exclusively shepherds, and lead their flocks 
over the steppes for months together, without holding 
communication with any human being, excepting, perhaps, 
an occasional sporting party in search of bustards and 
wolves. They often kill the latter themselves, and then 
they have a practice which I have seen also in Greece ; 
they carry the skin on a pole round all the villages within 
reach, and knock at the door of every proprietor of live- 
stock, who is obliged to present them with a small piece 
of money. They are good soldiers ; and the best hussars 
in the Austrian army are recruited from the Secklers of 
Transylvania. It was a squadron of Secklers that exe- 
cuted that most unparalleled violation of international 
law which resulted in the attack on the plenipotentiaries 
of the French Republic at Rastadt, and in the assassina- 
tion of Roberjot. They are clothed in skins, and being 
innocent of all linen, they anoint themselves with mutton 
fat. In appearance they are dusky, short, fierce, and by 
no means prepossessing. They have been compared to 
the Cossacks of the Don and the Ukraine ; but they are 
evidently a much inferior race, all the Sclavonian tribes 
being an infinitely finer people than those of Latin 




The chief town of Wallachia is built on the river Dimbo- 
vitza, one of the smaller tributaries of the Danube. The 
seat of government was at Tirgovisht in the seventeenth 
century, and the Hospodar, Constantine Brancovano, 
determined on removing it from those mountainous 
regions to the centre of the great plain. He selected for 
that purpose a village situated in a marsh ; and, as it 
belonged to a Boyar of the name of Buchor, he gave 
it the name of Buchoreshti, and transported the capital to 
it in the year 1698. It cannot, therefore, be expected 
that a city only a century and a half old should possess 
much interest ; and there are but few buildings deserving 
of notice in a historical point of view. The most remark- 
able, or rather the least insignificant, is the tower of 
Colza, which I visited with a most agreeable party of 
friends. It was built by the Swedes who remained at 
Bucharest after the defeat of the army of Charles XII. in 
1709, when that formidable foe of the aggrandizement 
of Russia laid his sword across the road leading from 
Moscow to Constantinople, and when, unfortunately for 


the destinies of Europe in general, that good sword was 
broken at Pultava. The tower itself is merely the gate- 
way of an hospital, and offers nothing striking in its 

There are so many churches at Bucharest that the 
devout may pray in a different one every day of the year, 
even if it be a leap-year ; for they number no less than 
366. Few of them, however, merit notice. 

The metropolitan church was founded by Prince 
Constantino Brancovano, on a height commanding a 
panoramic view of the town : it is built in the Byzantine 
style ; but neither rich in ornament, nor graceful in 
proportions, though it is large in dimensions. A public 
walk has been laid out with a double row of trees leading 
to it ; and this, with the beauty of the site, forms its sole 
attraction, excepting always as a place of worship. 

The monasteries of Radu Voda, built by the Hospodar 
Alexander II. and repaired by Eudolph the Black, 
whose name was given to it ; and of Sarandar, founded 
by Prince Matthew Bassarabba, are mere quadrangles, 
surrounded by cloisters, with a church similar to the 
metropolitan in the centre; and beyond the walls of 
the town the two convents of Kotrotsheni, which was 
a summer residence of Prince Sherban Cantacuzene, and 
Vakareshti, where the princes halt in state, before enter- 
ing the capital on their return from the ceremony of 
investiture at Constantinople, are immense buildings, 
without taste or character of any kind. Indeed, the 
Wallachians do not seem to shine as architects now, 
more than they did a century and a half ago; such 
tawdry tinsel cornices and plaster pillars adorn their 



new residences, so inferior in comfort to our English 
houses with their homely red-brick faces; and such 
ostentation mingled with untidiness : a Greek peristyle 
of Corinthian columns may occupy one side of a court- 
yard, for instance, and opposite it may be a range of 
stabling, sheds and dunghills ; a marble terrace, on which 
linen is hung out to dry; and a housemaid's broom 
enjoying a sinecure in the principal lobby, with a duster 
always hanging over the rosewood bannisters of the 
great staircase. 

And the Wallachians are fond of building, too ; with 
some whom I know it is a monomania ; not an unnatural 
one, to be sure, when the half of the town had just been 
burnt to the ground. They were never satisfied, and 
their constant occupation consisted in pulhng down to 
reconstruct, — in adding on one side, and altering on the 

But what appeared to me the most extraordinary, was 
the utter ignorance of all principles of architecture mani- 
fested by those amateur builders. They were generally 
to be seen living in houses, which they had rendered 
nearly uninhabitable, and which had respectively cost as 
much as one three times the size would, when built at 
once, and on a determinate plan. The combinations of 
rooms, passages, and staircases being unlimited, they 
were always attempting new ones, and usually, instead 
of progressive amelioration, they arrived at inextricable 
confusion. One old Boyar, in particular, was a most 
unmitigated old bore in this respect ; he was constantly 
scratching rectangles and parallelograms on scraps of 
paper, until he became so bewildered that he no longer 


knew how to get either into his house or out of it ; in 
the middle of a conversation at an evening party, he 
would start up to measure the height of a door, or the 
breadth of a window ; and on visiting a friend, although 
announced, he would not appear, but would be found 
when sought for, computing the arch of a cellar, or 
pacing a poultry-yard. And, after all, he commenced 
building on a worse plan than his first one; and his 
enormous mansion, if it be ever completed, will remain 
as a monument of folly and conceit, to demonstrate that, 
in every application of human knowledge, success can be 
attained only through special study. They were re- 
building a church, which had been destroyed during the 
great fire, in the main street called the Fodomogoshoi, 
and the incorrigible blunderers, instead of imitating 
those lovely gems of Byzantine architecture scattered 
with such profusion all over the East, which are in 
harmony with the colouring and with the climate of the 
country, were erecting a tall, cold, gothic structure, that 
looked like a foreigner staring at the natives, and, to 
accomplish this practical solecism, they were spending 
an enormous sum of money. But the churches, pre- 
lates, and rehgious communities, are rich in Wallachia, 
though the great majority of the priesthood be poor in 
the extreme. 

The Clergy of Wallachia are governed by the Metro- 
politan Archbishop of Bucharest, whose appointment is 
independent of the Patriarch of Constantinople, as he is 
virtually nominated by the Hospodar, although in form 
he is elected by the Boyars; but he recognises the 
superiority of rank belonging to the Patriarch. They are 

VOL. I. z 


secular or monastic, according to their vows : most of 
them belong to the latter class, as high preferment in 
the Chm-ch is open only to it ; and they are almost all 
without education, and taken from the lowest grades of 
society. Secular priests may marry once. The rank of 
Trotojpreshyter is the highest which they can attain. The 
Monastic Clergy are classed in different ranks besides 
those of Priests and Deacons, which are common to 
both distinctions. The lowest are the Hiero-monachoi, 
or simple Priars ; the next are the Hegoumenoi, or Priors ; 
and above them come the Archi-mandntai, or Abbots, 
and the Episcopoi and ArcJiiepiscopoi, or Bishops and 
Archbishops, and the Metropolitans. The plurality of 
livings is unknown; and the clergy are not paid by 
tithes. The congregation meets in the body of the 
church on a perfect footing of equality, the serf beside 
his lord ; they stand or kneel, but do not sit, as they 
have no sermons; and females occupy the gynecceum, 
which is a latticed gallery facing the altar. No musical 
instruments are used, but the chanting and singing of 
the psalms is sometimes admirable. The vestments of 
the officiating priests and the decorations of the tempJe 
are gorgeous and splendid, though without good taste. 

The Bible was first printed in the vernacular tongue 
of Wallachia, under the Hospodar Constantine Mavro- 
cordato, in the year 1735, when he invented an alphabet 
for the purpose, as that language had not been previously 
written ; he composed it of Greek and Sclavonic letters, 
official documents having been transcribed before his 
time in the Sclavonic character alone, which but iU con- 
veyed the sounds of Rumoon words. Like the remainder 


of the Eastern Christian Church, of which it is a branch, 
the Church of Wallachia differs little from that of Rome 
in the important precepts influencing general conduct, 
for their doctrinal controversies are chiefly of an abstruse 
nature. It adheres to the first seven General Councils, 
and maintains that the Holy Ghost proceeds, not from 
the Father and the Son, but from the Father alone ; it 
does not allow indulgences before omissions of duty, but 
admits of full absolution afterwards ; it denies the ex- 
istence of a purgatory ; it does not acknowledge the 
infalhbility of the priesthood ; and it rejects the worship 
of images, though praying before them is permitted. 
Baptism is by immersion alone. Divorce is easy on the 
simple plea of aversion, and even of preference for 
another ; and in society, persons, who have been married, 
meet amicably and without restraint. At funerals, the 
coffin is open, and the corpse decked in a gaudy dress, 
with flowers around the head. Leavened bread is used, 
and wine unmixed with water, at the Holy Communion, 
and they are administered in both kinds. The corporeal 
presence is admitted. The habitual fasts are on Wed- 
nesdays, as well as on Fridays, because our Lord 
announced his betrayal on a Wednesday. The people 
confess to the priests, they venerate saints, and they pray 
to the Blessed Virgin. They have three daily services, 
early in the morning, before noon, and at sunset. The 
old Julian calendar is used instead of the more correct 
Gregorian, or new style. 

The monasteries of Markutsa and Panteleimon, near 
Bucharest, are large estabHshments, and have the ad- 
vantage of being finely situated; but the latter has a 



stronger claim on our admiration than any princely or 
monastic palace, for it has been converted into a noble 
hospital, richly endowed by the family of the ex-Hos- 
podar Ghika; it is creditably kept, and attended by 
efficient medical men. There is also in the town an 
extensive infirmary, supported exclusively at the expense 
of the Brancovano family. 

The best hospital I saw at Bucharest, was that of the 
Turkish army of occupation. In cleanliness and venti- 
lation it surpassed anything of the kind that has as yet 
come under my notice ; and it was so well ordered in 
every respect, that there are few regimental surgeons of 
my acquaintance in Her Majesty's service, who would not 
derive advantage from the study of its arrangements. 

I also had an opportunity of seeing the Turkish troops 
reviewed. There was a regiment of dragoons, six bat- 
talions of infantry, and a field-battery of six guns. The 
cavalry was of the hghtest description, and the horses 
seemed to be too highly fed, and too spirited, to admit 
of great regularity in their movements ; but, to counter- 
balance these defects, they display a degree of quickness 
of evolution which would astonish our lancers w4th 
their tall chargers. The infantry was steady, and ma- 
noeuvred well, but the men were most remarkably young; 
their average age could hardly exceed twenty-three, and 
their height about five feet eight; they formed line three 
deep, and were rather old-fashioned in their manual 
exercise; but their file-firing of blank cartridge was 
excellent, and in general their greatest merit seemed to 
be rapidity rather than precision. The artillery were 
beyond all praise. A better materiel could not exist, 


and it would be impossible to handle it more perfectly. 
I went to see the barracks. The men, as well as the 
horses, are too well fed ; their dinner was as tempting, 
as the sort of overgrown gentleman's stables, in which 
I saw the cavalry chargers and artillery horses, were neat 
and airy. The soldiers' rooms had neither tables nor 
benches, and the beds being arranged along the floors, 
they looked very different from our barracks, but they 
were quite as comfortable according to the Oriental 
ideas of comfort. 

The officers treated me with the greatest urbanity, 
showed me everything, and took me into their rooms to 
smoke long pipes and drink thimblefuls of coffee. I met 
several of them afterwards at the hospitable table of the 
Turkish Commissioner, Ahmed Vefyk Effendi. There 
was Halim Pasha, the Lieutenant- General commanding, 
a little man, full of fun, and most affable with his infe- 
riors, though considered somewhat severe on matters of 
duty : Mahmud Pasha was the Major- General, rather too 
stout to be much of a soldier, but good-humoured, and 
by no means affecting a warlike bearing, which his 
military services would not have warranted, as those of 
Halim Pasha did ; then there was Colonel Ismael Bey, a 
gallant soldier, a thoroughly good officer, and an excellent 
fellow, who commands the 4th Regiment of the Guards ; 
and Colonel Emin Bey, a most amusing man, and an 
experienced artillery officer, but quahfied by his comrades 
as a fastidious disciplinarian, — which little failing, if it be 
one, is excusable in a Colonel who has his detachment in 
such tiptop order ; Muhiedim Bey, the Town-Major, a 
most gentlemanly young man, and said to be a promising 


officer ; and Akif Bey, the Surgeon-Major, a medical man 
who talked well on professional subjects, both in French 
and in German, and a great favourite with the garrison. 
And then there was my own particular chum, good old 
Yusuf Bey, the Colonel who had behaved so well in 
Bulgaria shortly before I went there ; though past sixty 
years of age, he had the health and spirits of a boy ; a 
Georgian by birth, and as black as a mulatto; but a 
fine-looking man, and the very picture of a sterling sol- 
dier, true to the back-bone, and bold as a lion. He was 
the very life and soul of many a friendly party thus 

The Russian troops had frequent field-days on the 
plain of Colintina, which stretches from the north-east 
gate of the town, to the country-house and burial-place 
of the Hospodar Gregory Ghika, prettily situated on the 
wooded bank of a small lake, at a distance of about three 
miles. I was present on several occasions when their 
regiment of lancers, eight battalions of infantry, and a 
park of artillery, were brigaded. They went admirably 
through that most difficult of all manoeuvres, advancing 
in line ; but they were all old soldiers ; their cavalry 
horses were lean, large, and heavy-looking brutes. The 
lancers made a poor show; the artillery better, but 
wretchedly slow ; the infantry pleased me very much, 
until they commenced their fight drill, when I could 
hardly befieve my eyes. No one seemed to be aware of 
the first principles of skirmishing, from the General down 
to the private, for battalion after battalion was allowed 
to go on in the same way without a single remark ; the 
two ranks of each file made no attempt to cover each 


other in advancing and retreating ; in fact, they generally 
moved together; they fired and stood to be fired at, 
instead of discharging their shot when they were about 
to move ; and then they halted to load, and that any- 
where. Our Rifle Brigade would make short work of 
such skirmishers ; every one of them would be picked off 
as soon as they extended. 

The Russian soldiers are not nearly so well clothed as 
those of the Turkish regular army; their heavy green 
coats are so much more cumbersome than the light 
jacket ; their cross-belts are longer and not so well put 
on, the pouch being thus apt to rattle about when they 
are at double time ; and the helmets, though better for 
defence, are clumsy and much more fatiguing to wear 
than the fez. It is a great mistake to impede the move- 
ments of a soldier in order that he may be protected, as 
the Knights did of old with their armour; and, by 
enabling him to go through more work, the efficiency of 
an army is increased in a greater ratio than it can be by 
the number of killed and wounded in action being 
diminished ever so much. 

I saw the barracks of a Russian regiment, too, but it 
was when I expected it the least, for I thought I was 
visiting the Wallachian University. The fact was, that 
the College of Saint Sava, library, museum, and all, had 
been converted into a receptacle for a portion of the un- 
welcome army of occupation, instead of continuing to be 
the temple of learning ; and the students and professors 
had given place to the soldier-slaves of the Czar. Such a 
den of filth I never saw ; an offensive odour of melted 
tallow candles, used as sauce for sour black bread, in the 


absence of their much-loved train-oil ; and damp straw 
strewn about for the miserable-looking, cowed, half- 
famished warriors to sleep upon. No wonder that the 
mortality among them was so great. 

The Russian officers do not live in barracks, but 
occupy the best houses in Bucharest, which their pro- 
prietors are obliged to give up to those of high rank ; 
while captains and subalterns are billeted on private 
families, not always willing to receive such guests. 
They belonged invariably to one of two classes of men ; 
either rough and ready campaigners, or fops fit only to 
wear lemon-coloured gloves ; and hardly one of those I 
had an opportunity of judging, was what we would call 
a gentlemanlike man. They were almost all dissipated 
and notorious gamblers, living on the Wallachians in 
every imaginable way ; one of them, for instance, having 
already won 15,000/. from them at the game of 
Lansquenet. Lieutenant- General Hasford, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, and the same who was defeated at 
Hermannstadt in the Hungarian war, by Bem, is a 
fair-haired, bull-headed, unmeaning-faced sort of in- 
dividual, supposed to be a very intelligent man, but 
never doing or saying anything to prove it. His two 
Major- Generals, Dick and Comar, were only remarkable, 
the one as being the elderly husband of a very pretty 
wife, and the other for having risen to his present rank 
in spite of his belonging to a good Polish family, whether 
that be a merit or the contrary. None of the other 
officers rose above obscurity, excepting through ex- 
ploits which, however characteristic they may be both of 
Russia and of Wallachia, would hardly suit Enghsh 


readers; and although describing Bucharest witliout 
alluding to that subject, is somewhat like the play of 
Hamlet acted with the part of the noble Dane left out, 
still I think that the less that is said about it the 

Russia, of her own good pleasure, sends an army into 
a neighbouring empire in time of peace, and obliges the 
subjects of a potentate, who is ostensibly her ally, to 
maintain her soldiers ; but she does not reflect that, by 
showing them abroad for any length of time, their weak 
points are discovered. It is not in a two months' cam- 
paign in Hungary that Russia meets with any real 
difficulties, for she has men and they fight ; but, when 
they fall on the resources of her corrupt and incom- 
petent Commissariat department, it is then that her 
armies melt away like hoarfrost before the rising sun. 
I, for one, saw enough of the Russian troops at Bucha- 
rest to explain most fully to me how the Emperor lost 
150,000 men and 50,000 horses in the war of 1828 
and 1829, only a small proportion of these having 
been killed in battle or having died of their wounds. 
This subject appears to me, not to be rightly appre- 
ciated, and yet it is far from being unimportant. Some 
people say that Russia is all-powerful, and will even- 
tually swallow us up. Others descant on the ficti- 
tious character of her power, and contend that she 
cannot bring 100,000 men into the field; that her 
climate protects the country, but prevents it from be- 
coming great; that the Empire wiU ultimately fall to 
pieces because it is not homogeneous ; and that Russia 
can conquer, but does not possess the art of consoH- 


dating her conquests and assimilating to herself 
territory she annexes; in short, '' qiielle mange 
ne dig ere pas!' In my humble opinion, both these 
views of the case are fallacious. Eussia is perhaps the 
only power in the world which has never retrograded; 
and I think it is because she thoroughly knows what she 
can do, and never makes the attempt until she is certain 
of success. Now, she can do much in a short war, but 
she cannot protract it, beyond her frontiers, without 
loss. Her armies are numerous and well disciplined, 
and, above all, they are guided by a spirit of union 
which pervades the great mass of the nation ; and this 
is a powerful element of victory as well as of consoli- 
dation. The events of 1812 proved how strong this 
feeling is amongst the Russians, and not only that it is 
strong, but also that it is stronger than in most other 
countries, which may have to struggle against it. 

When Buonaparte invaded Austria, subjugated Prussia, 
and attacked Holland, — when he took possession of 
Spain, dethroned the House of Braganza in Portugal, and 
overran Italy, — ^there were many, both of the distin- 
guished and of the insignificant among the population of 
those States, who cheered him on, and even openly aided 
him in his career of conquest, and spoliation of their native 
countries; but, when 325,000 soldiers, and nearly 1,000 
pieces of artillery entered Russia under the command of 
the greatest captain of the age, not one individual was 
found among the 60,000,000 of inhabitants of Russia, 
either high or low, who ever desisted from exerting him- 
self to the utmost, and in every possible manner, for the 
purpose of raising obstacles in the way of the unpro- 


the I 
mais I 


voked aggressor, from the day when his eagles first 
appeared triumphantly within the Russian frontier to 
that on which he himself hurriedly abandoned them, 
when they had recrossed it, only 80,000 in number. 
The Russian troops thus succeeded in resisting "la 
grande armee" of the "grand Napoleon," and the 
Empire, far from showing a want of consoUdation, kept 
together ; aided, it is true, by the rigours of the climate, 
but still the inhabitants of every different race displayed 
a degree of union and accord which astonished that 
experienced invader, whose plan of a campaign always 
comprised a scheme of action on the population. His 
own artful bulletins prove this latter fact, as well as 
the exception in favour of Russia: in those of other 
wars his constant boast had been that his armies were 
enthusiastically joined by great bodies of the natives, 
but on this occasion he kept a significant silence, even 
when indulging in a vain prophecy, more applicable to 
himself than to his enemy, in the second bulletin of his 
invasion, which contained these words : " La Russie est 
entrainee par la fatalite ! Ses destinees vont s'accom- 
plir." It would have been too gross a falsehood even 
for Buonaparte's despatches, had he ventured then to 
follow his customary practice, although he had the assur- 
ance, after his return, to say of Russia to his senate : — 
" J' aurais pu armer la plus grande partie de sa popu- 
lation contre elle-meme en proclamant la liberte des 
esclaves, qu'un grand nombre de villages m'avaient de- 
man dee." And, situate as he was, can any one suppose 
for a moment that he would not have done so if he 
could? Why did he not do so? Not one of his 


senators dared to ask him that home question, for he 
was no longer the crest-fallen invader, flying before a 
justly indignant people on the frozen plains of Russia ; 
he had recovered his irresistible ascendancy over the 
credulous Parisians on the 18 th of December. 

Russia could, therefore, defend herself against this for- 
midable invasion, and she could defeat a numerous army 
of warlike Magyars in a short campaign beyond her fron- 
tiers, but she could not keep the field in the campaign 
of the Pruth ; she was very glad to conclude the treaty 
of Bucharest ; she was in a great hurry to get across the 
Balkans and make peace at Adrianople, which she never 
could have done if Sultan Mahmud had not been 
deserted by Mustapha Pasha of Scodra, the Serbs, and 
the Bosniacs ; and she thought herself fortunate in achiev- 
ing the treaty of Hunkiar Skelessi, and in being able 
to recall her troops, without fighting the army of Mehemet 
Ali Pasha of Egypt. All this is because she cannot 
provision large bodies of men abroad ; she knows it well, 
and she, therefore, abstains from undertaking any enter- 
prise which involves that necessity. Russia has covet- 
ousness, and she has troops, but she has not yet been 
able to organize a Commissariat department. Every 
colonel speculates on the food and clothing of his regi- 
ment, so much so that his promotion to the rank of 
Major-General is regarded as a positive misfortune ; and 
every surgeon makes handsome profits on the supply of 
medicines for his corps. Hunger, cold, and sickness, 
thus become the allies of any power at war with Russia, 
for no army in the world suffers so much hardship as 
the poor emaciated creatures who fight for the Czar 


abroad. I had ample proofs of the fact at Bucharest, 
where I saw two Russian Brigades that had served in 
the Hungarian campaign ; and I mention it because in 
my mind apparent contradictions are thus accounted for, 
and I have never seen it brought forward so strongly as 
its importance deserves; that importance being self- 
evident, when one reflects what would be in store for 
Europe and a great part of Asia, if the ambition of 
Russia were no longer fettered by this radical defect in 
her military system. 

Wallachia has also her army. It is called the Militia, 
and it consists of a regiment of lancers 1,200 strong, and 
three regiments of infantry of 1,173 men each, the whole 
strength of the militia being thus 4,719. They are fine- 
looking men on parade; but the Wallachians are not 
warlike, and it is not probable that they would distinguish 
themselves if they were taken into action. In 1848 the 
Provisional Government endeavoured to oppose the en- 
trance of the Turkish troops into Bucharest, but the only 
Wallachian corps which made a good fight of it was a 
body of firemen. They are drilled by Russian non-com- 
missioned officers, and they seemed to get on very well ; 
but this is not the only benefit derived from the occupation 
by the poor Wallachian soldiers, as I perceived one day : 
I was walking along the street, when I remarked two 
Turkish Serjeants stop to look through the chinks of a 
paling enclosing a courtyard, and when I came up to 
them, they turned to me and pointed at what they saw, 
while they shook their heads and frowned. I put my 
eye to the chink, and there I beheld a Wallachian recruit 
between two Russian grenadiers, who were beating him 


with rods, which fell alternately and most heavily on his 
poor shoulders. When the number awarded had been re- 
ceived, his hands were untied : he put on his stock and his 
jacket, and turned away without having uttered a word or 
a cry ; but he threw a glance of hatred and revenge at the 
windows of the Russian guard-house, behind which he had 
been flogged. " Ah !" exclaimed one of the Turks, who 
had also remarked it ; and, as we could not communicate 
our respective impressions, otherwise than by signs, we ex- 
changed deprecatory and indignant looks, and passed on. 

The commander-in-chief of the Wallachian Militia 
is styled Spathar, or Sword-bearer, and he has a nume- 
rous staff and chancery to administer the military affairs 
of the province; several of them are Russian officers. 
Recruits are raised by conscription, and by voluntary en- 
listment. The age prescribed is from twenty to thirty ; 
and the term of service is six years, the sixth part of the 
troops being annually discharged. Besides the Militia, 
there is an irregular Frontier Guard, furnished by the 
villages along the left bank of the Danube, and the 
southern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, 217 sta- 
tions forming the former line, and 123 the latter. All 
the peasants of these villages, from twenty to fifty years 
of age, are obliged to serve without pay, and to provide 
their own arms, clothing, and food, in the proportion 
of four men to each station : in consideration of this 
sacrifice, 39,859 families are exempted from all taxes 
and forced labour. This force is also under the orders 
of the Bjpathary who is considered as a sort of Minister 
at War. 

The other heads of departments are the Grand Vornik 


of the Interior, the Grand Lor/othete of Justice, the 
Logotliete of PubUc Instruction and Ecclesiastical Affairs, 
the Vistiare, or Treasurer, and the PostelniJc, who is the 
Prince's secretary, and the channel of communication 
between him and the foreign Consuls. The origin of this 
title is curious ; it means Postmaster, and it was the 
most important office under the Panariote Hospodars, 
who were in the habit of keeping their sovereigns, the 
Sultans, constantly informed of what was passing at the 
European Courts ; and frequently they paid with their 
lives for the incorrectness or delay of their intelligence. 
It was, therefore, of vital consequence to every newly 
appointed Hospodar to establish a correspondence at any 
price, with persons behind the scenes at Paris, Vienna, 
St. Petersburg, and other great capitals, and to have 
his means of communication within the principalities 
rapid and safe, in order that he might receive and forward 
political intelligence before it could reach Constantinople 
by any other means. Hence the value of a good FosteU 
niky and the rapidity of post-travelling in Wallachia 
and Moldavia, which remains as a traditional result of 
the system, although the importance of the office has 
dwindled down to nothing. The post most sought 
after, although of inferior rank, is that of Logotliete of 
Ecclesiastical Affairs, for, notwithstanding that the de- 
partments of the Interior, Pubhc Justice, and Finance, 
offer ample opportunities for peculation and the receipt 
of bribes, these advantages are surpassed by the profits 
of the administration of Church property; then there 
is hardly any one who is not sometimes anxious to 
obtain assistance from the Ecclesiastical authorities. 


whether it be to secure a divorce, to accomplish a mar- 
riage within the forbidden degrees, or to break a will, 
besides the long list of contracts for the tenure of monas- 
tic lands which enrich speculators, for the resources of 
the Wallachian Church are as inexhaustible as her juris- 
diction is extended. There are, in fact, not more than 
6,000 Roman Catholics, who are independent of the 
ecclesiastical department, as they have a Bishop of their 
own, who belongs to the diocese of Nicopolis, under the 
protection of Austria; and 1,000 Lutherans, who have 
also a Church and priests according to the foundation 
of Charles XIL of Sweden during his stay at Bender, 
which is still under the exclusive control of the Arch- 
bishop of Stockholm. 

Bucharest is not a commercial town, and, as I was 
anxious to gain some insight into the state of trade in 
the two provinces, I determined on making a tour which 
should comprise the principal ports of both, and the 
chief town of Moldavia. I, therefore, made my prepara- 
tions for accomplishing this journey accompanied only by 
a servant, leaving my little party again at the hotel. 

PIETRO. 353 




Poor Pietro's head had been completely turned by 
the honours he received in Bulgaria. Like the cobbler 
in the Arabian Nights, he could not help quarrelling 
with his awl after he had been treated as a Caliph in 
Haroun al Raschid's palace; he could not forget the 
golden age of Widin, and descend to the hard rusty iron 
realities of Bucharest ; and when I announced to him 
my intention of making another excursion, he intimated 
that he could not accompany me unless his emoluments 
were made adequate to his merits. In other words, he 
struck for wages after the approved manner of Man- 
chester and Birmingham ; but such a strike as Pietro's 
never was heard of in those matter-of-fact communities, 
for he coolly proposed that I should pay him at the rate 
of sixteen ducats, about eight pounds sterhng, per month. 
In vain I reasoned with him on the exorbitance of this 
demand, and reminded him that I should find no diffi- 
culty in replacing him ; Pietro would not go for less ; I 
told him that in that case he should not go at all ; and 
thus ended my connexion with poor Pietro, whom I pitied 

VOL. I. A A 


as the victim of unexpected greatness more than 
regretted being deprived of his services. His successor 
was a very diminutive Jew; a sort of epitome of " the 
peoples ;" a LilHputian " Old Clo." He could not have 
been less than twenty years of age, but in stature he did 
not exceed four feet six inches ; he had bright intelligent 
eyes, he spoke a little German, and he rejoiced in the 
patriarchal name of Jacob. 

I resolved on trying to travel on springs this time, 
and I procured a Russian drosky, through the kindness 
of a friend. Jacob and I, therefore, started from Bu- 
charest about sunset in the last fine weather of autumn, 
well muffled in our drosky, and drawn by eight post- 
horses with two postilions. At the gate of the town, a 
police-officer demanded my passport. After having 
examined it carefully for some time, probably without 
having been able to read a word of it, as it was in Eng- 
lish, and the case was a new one for Wallachia, he 
gravely communicated his conviction that we had picked 
it up in the street, and that it had not been intended 
for us. Jacob, looking as fierce as a little Bantam cock, 
quickly replied that, whatever his conviction might be 
with regard to the document, that would alter nothing 
as to the fact that he would not succeed in getting any- 
thing from us, and he added with an aii* of grandeur, 
that he had better take care what he was i,bout, as the 
" Dominus " inside was a Boyar of high distinction, 
and would not condescend to enter into a discussion 
w^ith a policeman ; the latter then returned the passport, 
and directed the post-boys to drive on, shaking his head 


in his retreat to his den, as if he felt that he had assumed 
a grave responsibihty in allowing so suspicious a cha- 
racter to leave Bucharest. Our course was north-easterly, 
when we commenced the customary race over the plains, 
sometimes covered with wood, but more often bare and 
unbroken by any object on which to rest the eye. It 
was almost quite dark when we reached Mora Domnasca, 
the first village on our road, and we could scarcely dis- 
tinguish a large country house, which is the property of 
one of the magnates of Wallachia. He had just been 
cutting the timber on his estate, and it was said that he 
had not made a very successful speculation of it ; a con- 
tractor had offered him three thousand ducats for the 
wood at his own risk, but the proprietor would not 
agree, supposing that it must be worth six thousand if the 
half of that sum was proposed to him, and he had it cut 
on his own account, when he only realized one thousand 
for the produce. Such is the universal system of pillaging 
which pervades every branch of Wallachian industry. 

Chindirliest was the first post-station, and it was 
full time that our horses should be changed, for, al- 
though there were no less than eight of them, and the 
carriage was very light, still the ground over which they 
dragged it, as it could hardly be called a road, was so 
exceedingly soft and heavy, that they were panting and 
exhausted. . Post-horses in Wallachia are not fed on any 
species of grain, but merely graze in summer, and eat 
hay in winter, which is low diet for hard work ; and it 
is astonishing that so much is got out of them, especially 
as regards pace. After leaving this village we soon 

A A 2 


passed another, whicli appeared, as the moon rose, 
prettily imbedded in wood on the banks of the river 
Jalonitza. Its name was Tsiganca. We crossed the 
stream, and followed its course for some time, but as it 
had evidently overflowed of late, we found that its vici- 
nity was by no means satisfactory. The wheels sank to 
their axles in the mud, the horses refused to pull them 
out, the post-boys flogged and shouted in vain, the moon 
got behind some dark clouds as if on purpose to spite 
us, and our predicament became more and more aggra- 
vating. At last, a pull all together, both strong enough 
and long enough to place us on ground comparatively 
dry and hard, relieved us from further floundering in 
that marsh, but we soon commenced a fiercer struggle in 
another, more soft, more wet, and more deep, if possible, 
than the first. Here a new difficulty assailed us : one 
of our postihons suddenly changed his tone of angry 
menace, addressed to his horses, to one of dismal lamen- 
tation towards us. What was the matter ? He could 
not articulate, so pitiful was his wailing. At last we 
made out from him that he was suffering acute pain ; he 
was very ill, and must go immediately to the village of 
Tsiganca, whose fires were still glimmering among the 
trees ; I offered to take him into the carriage, but he 
declined, and, although he could not ride, he was per- 
fectly able to run, for he dismounted, and wad^d through 
the bog with the most surprising agility. What was to 
be done now ? One man could never drive eight horses, 
unless, indeed, that one man were Ducrow himself, — and 
the banks of the Jalonitza are far from Astley's. 


" Oh ! it is nothing ! " exclaimed httle Jacob, as he 
rolled oflP the box and scrambled into the vacant saddle ; 
" Ee hu! ya ho!" shouted he more lustily than his 
predecessor, mingling his vocal noise with that of unin- 
terrupted whip-cracking, for the knowing rogue of a 
post-boy had left his w^hip across the saddle. Away we 
rolled, out of the mud, over a bank, into a ditch, out of 
that again, and fairly on dry land at last, rattling along, 
all the horses at full gallop, and Jacob swearing in 
Wallachian, in German, and in Hebrew too I believe. 
Old Clo' riding postihon was too much for my gravity, 
and I laughed so heartily that he turned round and 
responded by a shout of glee ; and very well he rode, 
too, flourishing his whip, holding up his four jaded 
brutes, and handling his reins as if he had never done 
Anything else all his life. 

It was past midnight when we reached Urtsicheni, the 
village where we were to change horses, as we had 
been five hours in going one stage of about twelve miles. 
After this we travelled until daylight over a vast steppe, 
going in a straight line for many hours at a rapid pace 
without the slightest change of level or interruption to 
our course, from Urtsicheni to the village of Metellio, 
and from Metellio to that of Tsougouyat, We came to 
the latter place in the morning, and crossed the river 
Chalmazni, on the banks of which it stands : thence to 
Faorin on the small lake of Sarat ; still no cultivation, 
but boundless pastures. I remarked a great number 
of tumuli on these plains with stone crosses placed on 
their summits, but my inquiries could ehcit no infor- 


mation on the subject. In the evening we arrived at 
the town of Ibraila. 

This is a commercial town of considerable importance 
on the Danube. Its population amounts to 16,000, the 
shipping is numerous, and the exportation of grain is 
active. It w^as besieged and taken in three days by 
the Russian General Renne, during the campaign of 
the Pruth, but the report which he despatched to Peter 
the Great was intercepted by the Moldavian Vornik, 
Lupu, who was in the Turkish interests, and who 
forwarded it to the Grand Vezir. The Emperor w^as 
thus ignorant of the success of that expedition until 
after he had signed the fatal treaty of peace. 

Ibraila was also besieged during the last war be- 
tween the Russians and the Turks ; the former lost 
three generals and 30,000 men, and the whole garrison 
of the latter was destroyed by the explosion of the 
mines. The fortifications, like those of Giurgevo, are 
completely dismantled in consequence of the teims of 
the treaty to that effect. There are some good new 
houses in the town, and the stores and warehouses 
are large. The streets are unpaved, however, and 
being very broad, the place looks comfortless and 

After collecting as much information as I could on 
the subject of trade, the only one of any interest in 
Ibraila, I passed over the small plain which separates 
that commercial town from its sister-port, Galatz. The 
latter is situated between the rivers Sereth and Pruth, at 
their confluence with the Danube, the former of which 


we crossed by a ferry, dividing the territory of the two 

Galatz has 27,000 inhabitants, and seems to be a 
flourishing mart. Here I completed my study of the 
Danube trade. 

The mercantile relations between the two principalities 
and the remainder of Turkey have been hitherto con- 
ducted exactly as between foreign states. This is in- 
jurious to both parties, as well as to the commercial 
interests of Great Britain, while it is profitable to Russia 
alone, wlio makes use of her political influence for the 
purpose of disuniting the Moldo-Wallachians from the 
Ottoman empire in circumstances and feelings, if not 
in fact. 

That her unvarying policy has ever been to raise a 
barrier between the two banks of the Danube, cannot for 
a moment be doubted by any one who has turned his 
attention to the subject ; and one of the means employed 
is the obstruction of commercial intercourse between 
their respective inhabitants. Russia exercises protection 
over the two principalities, whether legitimately or not 
has already been seen ; and that protection is nominally 
extended to their trade, through the medium of her 
influence over the Boyars, although virtually its efl'ects 
are eminently prejudicial to their best interests. Thus 
the produce of the right bank pays duty on entering the 
principalities; merchandise, having already paid full 
duties in Turkey, is again taxed on the left bank of the 
Danube, although it is still within the empire ; and grain 
purchased in Bulgaria cannot be brought to the opposite 


provinces of the same empire, even for the purpose of 
immediate exportation. 

This prohibition forms a great impediment to the 
exportation of wheat and Indian corn from the Danube ; 
and the opposition made to its aboHtion displays a com- 
plete ignorance of the principles of trade and of the 
results produced by similar measures elsewhere; for 
those of the Moldo-Wallachians, who suppose that they 
derive any benefit from it, and that the opening of their 
ports would be hurtful to the principalities, are either 
blinded by a traditional respect for the inspirations of 
Russia, or biassed by aversion to the Ottoman Porte, inas- 
much as the latter power is certainly a loser by the oppres- 
sion of trade in Bulgaria. It is self-evident, that every 
port in which there exists a large quantity of grain for 
exportation, from wheresoever it be procured, must always 
draw to itself both merchants and capital ; that a great 
number of vessels will frequent it ; that freights will be 
lower in consequence, and rates of exchange higher ; and 
that a greater facility of obtaining money will be secured. 
These are positive advantages which must necessarily 
accrue to the growers. The latter argue, that wheat 
being cheaper in Bulgaria than in the principalities, 
their own could not stand against the competition ; but 
the price is fixed by the demand; and do they imagine 
that they prevent the Bulgarian grain from reaching the 
English market? or do they believe that so small a 
quantity, in comparison with the supply sent from other 
countries to Great Britain, would materially affect the 
current prices ? These may possibly be somewhat lower 


at the shipping port when a greater quantity is for sale ; 
but consumption always increases as prices fall -, and the 
difference in the latter would be more than compensated, 
especially in a country where the qualities of grain differ ; 
for the landed proprietor would be amply repaid for the 
loss on his best wheat by the sale of his inferior pro- 
duce, which would then be more easily disposed of than 

Prices might fall, it is true ; but it is hardly probable 
that even that result would be involved, as the prices in 
the place of production always depend on those of the 
place of consumption ; if they do not fall, then not only 
is the previous consumption increased, as generally hap- 
pens where the supply augments, but also production 
becomes greater, for good prices invariably enhance it. 

By keeping out Bulgarian grain, the principalities only 
prevent its being sold so advantageously as it might be ; 
but who has the profit ? The consumers, to be sure, and 
not that of the Danubian trade. 

Moldavia, Wallachia, and Bulgaria, are all losers by 
this prohibition, and the Ottoman Porte also suffers ; the 
gainers are the merchants who buy the Bulgarian pro- 
duce, to ship it on the Black Sea at an unnecessary 
expense ; and Russia, who furthers her political views by 
promoting disunion among the provinces of Turkey. 
Russia is well aware that the abolition of this prohibition 
would encourage cultivation in Bulgaria ; and there, as 
well as in the principalities, and in every other part 
of Turkey, she will always endeavour to impede the 
material progress of the country. By facilitating the 


exportation and sale of grain grown on the Bulgarian side 
of the Danube, she would enhance the prosperity of that 
vast tract of agricultural territory; and this would be 
inconsistent with her proverbial poHcy. Besides this, she 
would also cause immediate injury, by so doing, to her 
own Black Sea trade, and it cannot be wondered at that 
such should be her conduct ; it is more astonishing that 
she should find any one to agree with her on this point 
within the Turkish empire, which is so seriously harmed 
by it. 

The opponents of the abolition contended, that the 
consequent increase of cultivation in Bulgaria, and a 
greater facility of exporting its produce, would materially 
lower the prices in the consuming markets; but, how- 
ever correct in principle tjiis argument may be, when it 
is considered how small this augmentation can be in 
proportion to the whole corn trade of Europe and 
America— certainly not one per mille on the quantity 
exported from all countries — it cannot be estimated that 
this would cause any sensible difference. 

The Ottoman Porte is equally interested in the Moldo- 
Wallachian, and in the Bulgarian trade. Why is one 
allowed to injure the other without benefiting itself? 
The opposition raised in the principalities to their equal- 
isation must fall, one would think, before the force of 
reason ; the case is as simple as an easy syllogism, and it 
will at last be understood and rightly appreciated, in 
spite of the attempts to distort it which are made by the 
Russian party ; and the growers will surely be convinced 
in time that the amount of their returns would be 


increased by the change, as the matter thus stands in 
logical form : — 

From the price at the pkce of consumption, which 
regulates their income, must be deducted all charges of 
transport, freight, insurance, merchants' commission or 
gain, cost of obtaining money, &;c., and the remainder is 
the price paid to the cultivators ; every measure which 
lowers these charges is profitable to them ; and the 
charges are always lower where trade is carried on more 
extensively, and where larger depots exist. More 
vessels frequent the ports, and freights are consequently 
cheaper; capital is attracted, and money is therefore 
obtained on more favourable terms ; an advantageous 
system of bills of exchange takes the place of the expen- 
sive process of bringing coin to make purchases, which 
still exists to a certain degree at Galatz and Ibraila, and 
value is represented without loss ; while merchants doing 
a large business can work for a smaller commission, and 
are remunerated by less profit, than those doing a small 

The free commercial intercourse between the two 
banks of the Lower Danube would therefore be profit- 
able to both, and also highly beneficial to the empire of 
which both form parts, while all those states which are 
interested in Danubian trade would derive great advan- 
tage from these desirable changes. The present state cf 
matters is thus injurious to many, but it is favourable 
to one, and that one no friend to any of them ; for, by 
throwing obstacles in the way of the commerce of the 
Danube, an impulse is given to Russian produce, and to 


the traffic of the Black Sea, whilst the ambitious political 
views of the cabinet of St. Petersburg with regard to 
the Turkish Empire, find an efficient means of further- 
ance in those obstructions to the welfare and connexion 
of a part of its population. 

There is another weapon in the hands of Russia, which 
is no less powerful in effecting the disunion of the Turkish 
provinces, the oppression of their trade, and the hin- 
drance of ours in this part of Europe ; and it is equally 
illegitimate and unwarrantable. The sanitary cordon 
established by her along the left bank of the Danube is 
founded on the stipulations of the treaty of Adrianople. 
It is employed as a barrier intruded between the princi- 
palities and the remainder of Turkey, and as a political 
police, to keep the former under the control of Russia. 
As such, there can be but one opinion on its injustice 
In a commercial point of view, it is productive of the 
most injurious effects to the three Ottoman provinces 
through which the Lower Danube flows, and it is bur- 
densome in the extreme to the trade of England, and 
other countries which have established mercantile rela- 
tions with them. It should therefore be energetically 
combated by them ; and, as it is a weak point in the 
Russian poHcy with regard to Turkey, there is every pro- 
bability of its being combated successfully. As a mea- 
sure adopted for the protection of pubhc health, which 
is the only ground on which its defence can be attempted, 
it will be found incapable of standing for a moment 
against a straightforward attack. 

Allowing that the Russianized administration of 


Moldo-Wallachia have the right to put a quarantine on 
all communication with the remainder of the Ottoman 
Empire, and, consequently, on all British vessels arriving 
in the Danube, as they must pass Constantinople, that 
right can only extend as far as may be required to 
guarantee the two provinces from the contagion of the 
plague, and it can never equitably be construed as 
stretching one iota further. Now there is a strict 
quarantine instituted at Constantinople, not by the 
Turkish government alone, but also with the co-ope- 
ration of the representatives of several European powers, 
who send delegates to the Board of Health as members 
of that sanitary commission. It is, therefore, absurd 
that a clean bill of liealth emanating from them should 
not entitle its bearer to free pratique on his arrival in the 
Danube. In fact, the very government which arrogates 
the power of thus obstructing the commerce of other 
nations, protests against its own acts, by sanctioning the 
issue of such certificates on the part of a public body of 
which it nominates one of the members ; and it further 
falls into an* open contradiction of itself, by receiving 
ships at Odessa, which come from Constantinople, on 
better terms than are allowed to them at Ibraila and 
Galatz ; for at the Russian port they perform only four 
days' quarantine, while at those of the Danube they must 
submit to fourteen. If Russia admits the right of 
British ships to receive a clean bill of health at Constan- 
tinople, how can she deny them free pratique in the 
Danube ? And if Great Britain participates in the act 
of granting such documents, how does she suffer that 


they should not be respected ? Every government 
having a member of the Sanitary Commission at Con- 
stantinople, has an incontestable right to claim free 
pratique in the Danube. We have that right, and yet 
our ships are subjected to quarantine. 

Whether the plague be contagious or not, and whether 
quarantine establishments can keep it out of a country 
or not, are questions the decision of which is not 
required to prove the case in point, as the plague does 
not exist in any part of Turkey at present, and the 
untenable nature of the Russian policy in maintaining 
her system of quarantine in the Danube can be suffi- 
ciently demonstrated without them. It may, therefore, 
be assumed that quarantine is useful in preventing the 
plague from extending, although experience in the 
principalities tends to show the contrary ; for it cannot 
be said that the Danubian cordon has ever preserved 
them from that disease during the twenty years it has 
been in force : in order to argue that it has done so, it 
would be necessary first to establish that the advance of 
the plague has actually been stopped in the lazarettos ; 
and secondly, that the epidemics, which have been called 
typhus or malignant fevers, occasionally prevailing in 
different Moldo-Wallachian towns, were not the plague ; 
and neither of the two facts can be satisfactorily proved. 
It cannot, however, be alleged that the belief in con- 
tagion and in the efficacy of quarantine prompts the 
conduct of Russia in this respect, for she shows less fear 
at Odessa, and she is free to establish twenty cordons if 
she likes on the Pruth, which is her own frontier. But 


she wishes to attain other objects within her neighbour's 
frontier ; and she probably considers herself very skilful 
in using so plausible a pretext, and very fortunate in 
having been allowed to use it hitherto with impunity, 
and^ indeed, without opposition. 

The direction of the quarantine estabHshment is 
entrusted to a board at Bucharest, and another at 
Jassy ; and these two bodies are superintended by an 
inspector general, who is nominally appointed by the 
two princes and the consul-general of Russia, but who 
is virtually a Russian functionary. The officers of the 
department were formerly Moldo-Wallachians, but in 
the gradual and stealthy progress of the cabinet of 
St. Petersburg towards the usurpation of paramount 
authority in the principalities, Russian agents have 
lately been placed at all the quarantine stations of Wal- 
lachia and Moldavia, holding the entire and effective 
control over them without responsibility, as they only 
give verbal orders, and sign no papers. The regu- 
lations of the establishment have been brought by 
them from a system of comparative facility and accom- 
modation to the practice of the utmost rigour, as much 
so, in fact, as if the plague were actually on board 
every ship that arrives. And yet the plague has not 
been heard of for many years in any part of Turkey, 
and even Austria has abolished her quarantine on 
the Danube as being incompatible with the state of 
public health on the right bank, and injurious to 

In the organic law of both the principalities, certain 


regulations are laid down for the quarantine establish- 
ment. These are framed on the Russian sanitary 
system, and not according to that which is universally 
adopted by other governments of Europe. The difference 
between the two systems consists chiefly in the following 
particulars. By the Russian system a vessel never gets 
pratique at all, unless it be specially applied for by the 
captain, who must thus volunteer to undergo all the 
vexatious formalities imposed on him. The sails, running 
rigging,' &c., must be put into the hold and fumigated 
with all the clothes of the crew, during four-and-twenty 
hours, with the hatches shut down. Every person on 
board is obliged to remain on deck for a whole day 
and night, whatever may be the state of the weather. 
The hatches are then opened, the master and crew 
have to strip in the presence of a medical officer and 
the quarantine agents on deck, and go below naked 
to put on the clothes which have been smoked in 
the hold, and those left on deck by them are taken 
to the lazaretto by the health officers to be smoked. 
It is to be remarked that there are sometimes females 
on board EngUsh merchant ships. The term of 
quarantine then commences. In other countries the 
quarantine of vessels commences from the time when 
their susceptible goods are landed, and after a jfixed 
number of days they must take pratique without any of 
these barbarous formalities. 

The expenses, loss of time, inconvenience, and an- 
noyance occasioned by the Russian system, may easily 
be conceived. The captain of an English brig, that 


lately performed quarantine at Galatz, declared that this 
elaborate process cost him no less than 260 piastres, 
and it was undergone when no apprehension of plague 
could possibly be entertained. Another captain of an 
English vessel paid, a few months ago, at Galatz, 
135 piastres for the quarantine tax on nine persons, 
composing his crew, 2i piastres for the ticket given 
him, 435 piastres for the pay of the guard who 
remained on board during the term of observation, 
150 piastres for the pay of two guards charged with 
watching his ship during the time of expurgation, and 
90 piastres for the hire of a carriage to bring the 
inspector to visit the vessel daily : in all, 820 piastres. 
This ship was kept sixty-five days in quarantine, merely 
because she had a cargo on board, and, consequently, 
could not go through the process of smoking her sails, 
and running rigging, &c. in her hold. The manufactured 
goods which she carried, and which was classed as 
susceptible of conveying contagion, were enclosed in 
tarpaulin covers, with certificates from the Russian 
consul at the shipping port. She was furnished with 
a clean bill of health from Constantinople, and she 
was thirty days under the observation of the local 
authorities before her quarantine commenced, as she 
went from Galatz to Ibraila, and thence to Ziglina, 
where a guard was placed on board. She was in 
a most hazardous position during her quarantine, as 
the sudden breaking up of the ice on the Danube 
might have endangered the lives of her crew, as well 
as the property of the shippers, which was worth 8,000/. 

VOL. I. B B 


A survey of her condition was made officially by two 
British masters, who reported that her safety impera- 
tively required the landing of her cargo before the ice 
should break up, which was daily expected to take place. 
Every possible remonstrance was made by the competent 
authorities, and yet the Russian quarantine department 
of this Turkish province refused to give her pratique, 
or even to let her cargo be landed, until the stated term 
had expired. 

A vessel arriving at Galatz, even should she come 
direct from England, without having opened hatches at 
Constantinople, — if she be laden, and still more, sailing 
perhaps in ballast, is obliged to remain on the opposite 
side of the Danube for twenty-four hours, and the crew 
is examined by the medical officer of the quarantine 
establishment, who is required to ascertain that they 
have not brought the plague from Constantinople, or from 
London, which is equally probable at present. Although 
this system of examination has been continued for twenty 
years, no one instance is, of course, on record, in which 
the presence of the disease has been detected. The ship 
is then allowed to come to the Moldavian shore, and to 
commence its quarantine. A wall has been built along 
the river, at a distance of a few yards from the water's 
edge, and on this strip of ground masters of vessels and 
their crews are allowed to land. 

There is no house or shelter of any kind on it into 
which they may retire from the heat of the sun or the 
inclemency of the weather. No proper means are pre- 
pared for the communication of the captain with his 


consul or merchant ; but he must stand in the crowd, on 
one side of a railing, to bawl out his private business to 
another crowd, which is beyond another railing, at five 
or six yards' distance. The few cells, which are called 
parlaiorj, or places for such conversations, are dark, and 
in every way unfit for the purpose ; and they have more- 
over been taken possession of by the guards as sleeping- 
rooms. If the captain writes to his consul or merchant, 
his note is put into the smoking-box, and thence it 
reaches its destination, or not, according as it may suit 
the convenience and fidelity of the quarantine agents, 
who, fearing compliance, and hoping to gain favour by 
reporting anything of interest, act as spies even on com- 
mercial correspondence. Then comes the expense of 
porterage, for carrying grain from the spouts in the wall 
to the ships, which averages 6/. per vessel, whereas, were 
the quarantine abolished, the carts might come near the 
ships, and the porters, who now shoot the grain into the 
quarantine spouts, might shoot it into their holds, as 

Masters must also receive provisions and other neces- 
saries for their ships through a spenditore, or ship- 
chandler, who first fixes his own price without control, 
and then charges ten per cent, commission on everything 
he supplies; thus it is calculated that, on an average, 
each vessel loses 5/. through this practice during its stay. 
And, besides all this, the fees on taking pratique cost 
about 5/., after a delay of fourteen days, with injury to 
the materials and stores of the vessel, and the damage to 
which its cargo is exposed if it be laden. 

B B 2 


In cases of sickness, no medical assistance can be 
obtained on board the ship, and, however ill a sailor may 
be, he must come on shore to the office of the captain of 
the port to be seen by the medical officer, or die on 
board without help, if he be unable to move. Should it 
appear necessary to separate him from the other sailors, 
he is taken to the lazaretto, without any of the pre- 
cautions which his state may require, and, when there, 
he is obliged to strip naked, and get other clothes from 
the. town. He is then kept four days in quarantine, 
during which time the quarantine surgeon may look at 
him, but not feel his pulse, and at the expiration of these 
four days he is moved into town, whatever may be the 
state of his health or of the weather ; having paid about 
2/. for his short stay in the lazaretto. 

This is an evil which cannot be too speedily remedied, 
as it has doubtless already caused the death of many 
British seamen, from the difficulty of obtaining medical 
assistance for those who have died on board their ships, 
from the want of attention and quietness suffered by 
those who have been brought on shore to die, and from 
the aggravation of illness, occasioned by the fatigue and 
exposure of removal to a considerable distance, having 
sacrificed the lives of those who might have recovered if 
they had not been taken to the lazaretto. The Pro- 
testant cemetery of Galatz is abundantly eloquent on 
this subject. 

When freights are low from the Danube to the United 
Kingdom, and when many British vessels are at Galatz 
or Ibraila without charters for a return cargo, their 


captains are not free to seek the best terms, and to 
obtain the highest rates, in the hope of rendering the loss 
to their owners as light as possible ; and they find them- 
selves confined, as it were, in* a prison, and perfectly 
helpless to protect the interests of their ships. When 
in quarantine, they are entirely at the mercy of a few 
ship-brokers, who do not even speak their language ; and 
they are generally forced to accept such terms as are 
offered. They are also at a great disadvantage in the 
settlement of their accounts for freight, &c., as the 
merchants generally send them in only when the ships 
are ready for sea. They are thus subjected to heavy 
losses from the low rate of exchange allowed them, and 
they have no remedy, except by delaying the sailing of 
their vessels for several days, in order to get pratique, 
and learn the real state of the money-market. 

In these, as in all other particulars of the system, there 
is no alleviation to be expected until the stringent and 
even oppressive practice of Russian quarantine be alto- 
gether abolished, as unjust to all parties concerned, and 
ruinous to trade in general. 

Among other evils, the custom of forcing ship-masters 
in quarantine to transact their business surrounded by a 
mob of doubtful characters, has occasioned the robbery 
of vessels on their way dow^i the Danube, when money 
has been publicly put on board them, as it is not always 
practicable to effect a transfer by bills of exchange. 

Some of the official charges are hardly less piratical 
in their nature. The consular certificate is an instance 
of this. 


All goods called susceptible, which come from Great 
Britain, must have the bales, cases, or casks containing 
them covered with tarpaulins, and must be sealed by 
the Russian consul at the port where the packages are 
shipped, while that functionary gives a certificate. The 
seals and certificates of the consuls of no other countries 
are received or respected. The cost of this process is 
about sixteen shillings for each package. The Danubian 
quarantine thus entails on British trade an additional 
expense, besides all other costs in performing quarantine, 
of 7,200/. on 9,000 bales of manufactures and twist im- 
ported annually from England; 4,000/. on 5,000 barrels 
and casks of sugar, and other articles brought yearly 
into Galatz and Ibraila from Great Britain ; and 1,800/. 
on British vessels for additional porterage, attendance, 
&c. : making a total of 18,000/. sterling per annum. 
Added to this is the trouble to merchants, incon- 
venience to ship-masters, injury done to many articles 
by having water thrown over them, damage to such 
packages as may have the tarpaulins torn, or the seals 
broken : and, above all, delay, as time is money in trade. 
We may state these items in our financial tables as a 
small involuntary tribute which we pay to the political 
ambition of Russia. 

As an example of the loss sustained by delay in 
consequence of the Danubian quarantine, may be men- 
tioned that of discharging. At Ibraila there are so 
few discharging berths, that vessels must wait to 
unload until their turn comes. A few months ago, 
twelve ships were waiting to deliver, seven of them 


being British ; and they were thus losing their time, 
although they are charged quayage. It may be said 
that the buildings of the establishment might be en- 
larged; but if trade increases as it has hitherto done, 
that would be almost tantamount to converting the town 
into a vast lazaretto, for it is but a small place -, while the 
uselessness of the quarantine points out a better remedy 
than that of erecting such a monument of foreign usur- 
pation in a country belonging to a friendly power. 
That Turkey is no party to the oppression of British 
trade in the Danube, through the rigours of the quaran- 
tine regulation, is sufficiently attested by the firman 
bearing date the 2d of August, 1848, in which the 
Prince of Moldavia was ordered to discontinue their 
appKcation to our ships; but that disposition in our 
favour was overruled, and they still exist. 

Political economists tell us that the consumer pays all 
expenses, and w^e believe them; but it is also no less 
true that, were the quarantine expenses saved, our mer- 
chandise would be imported cheaper, and the provinces 
would consume a larger quantity of British produce. 
It must also be borne in mind, that all goods coming 
to the principalities from Germany, either down the 
Danube or by land, are admitted free of this onerous 
quarantine tax, which, on ordinary merchandise, amounts 
to 2 per cent. ; and the trade of Germany has conse- 
quently so great an advantage over that of Great Britain, 
that German produce is preferred to English, when the 
cost to the consumers on the Danube, exclusive of qua- 
rantine charges, would otherwise be equal. Were the 


obstacles opposed by the sanitary cordon removed, there 
can be no doubt that the sale of British manufactures 
would be considerably extended, by purchases made by 
traders from the small towns and villages of Bulgaria, as 
well as of Wallachia and Moldavia, where assortments do 
not exist, and this, without diminishing the quantity 
sent direct into the former province. 

Steam navigation has brought those rich countries 
nearer to us, and it has opened a career of internal im- 
provement, which will multiply their wants, and make 
them eager purchasers of our goods. We, on our part, 
seek new markets for our manufactures, and we must do 
it actively, for we have the formidable competition of the 
other States of Europe to struggle against ; we should be 
vigilant where surplus corn is produced, in order that 
we may make a profitable exchange, tending to supply 
our own wants ; and the Danubian trade combines those 
qualities and features which imperatively demand the 
attention of England. The value of our exports to 
Prance, Belgium, and Holland, which have a population 
of 42,000,000, and have manufacturers of their own, is 
7,000,000/. sterling per annum ; while that " of our 
Danubian exports is little more than 700,000/., in- 
cluding those to Bulgaria. In the west of Europe 
6,000,000 of the population imports 1,000,000/. worth 
of our goods ; the population of the three Danubian 
provinces is upwards of 8,000,000, and by re-estabhsh- 
ing the proportion we should add nearly 700,000/. to 
the annual value of our exports, almost doubling the 
amount of our trade on the Danube. Is it not, then. 

SULINA. 377 

worth our while to endeavour to extend and faciUtate 
our commercial relations with the Bulgarians and Moldo- 
Wallachians ? 

The treaty of Adrianople conferred on Russia, in the 
year 1829, the right of establishing and maintaining a 
quarantine station on one of the mouths of the Danube, 
which forms the boundary between the Turkish and 
Russian empires, and bears the name of Sulina ; and, as 
this is the only passage now practicable for shipping, 
she thus obtained a direct influence over the whole trade 
of the river. We shall see how far the exercise of that 
influence is in other respects consistent with the spirit 
of protection volunteered in favour of the two princi- 

A bar of mud crosses the mouth of the channel, and 
the water becomes so shallow over it, when no steps are 
taken to preserve a suitable depth, that only vessels of 
light draught can enter or leave the Danube in the end 
of summer. That being the season in which merchant 
ships frequent the Moldavian and Wallachian ports in 
search of grain for the European markets, the obstruc- 
tion to trade is considerable, on account of the necessity 
of trans-shipping their cargoes into lighters, and in conse- 
quence of the danger to which both vessels and cargoes 
are exposed when bad weather overtakes them during 
the process. The expense of hghterage, and the higher 
rate of insurance required, entailed a burden of three shil- 
lings per quarter on wheat exported from the two prin- 
cipalities ; and this increase of price on Danubian pro- 
duce places it on disadvantageous terms in comparison 

378 SULINA. 

with that exported by Russia, an equal quantity of 
which would be displaced in the consuming ports of 
Western Europe, if those extra charges did not exist ; 
while the total supply which might be drawn from 
the northern provinces of Turkey is also materially 

The occupation of Sulina by the Russians received 
the sanction of Austria in a special convention, passed 
in 1840, for the maintenance of deep water on the bar, 
in consideration of a tax or toll on all vessels crossing it. 
Although Great Britain was not a party to this arrange- 
ment, her immediate commercial interests might have 
been satisfied by its realization; but, notwithstanding 
that the dues are regularly paid by all ships visiting the 
Danubian ports, including those of England, no mea- 
sures are taken by Russia for the execution of the cor- 
responding operation of dredging the bar ; and our trade 
in this quarter suffers in consequence. The contribution 
would willingly be disbursed by our traders in favour of 
any one who faithfully secured a safe passage to their 
vessels ; but, as long as that object remains unattained, 
not only is the tax inequitable, but we have also the 
right of insisting, in virtue of other international stipula- 
tions, that the work should be effected, and even of 
effecting it ourselves if necessary. 

The treaty of Vienna declared, in the year 1815, that 
all the navigable rivers of Europe should be considered 
as " the highways of nations ; " and every country 
having an interest in the navigation of the Danube, is 
thereby justified in co-operating for its faciUtation. The 


subsequent treaty of Adrianople has never been recog- 
nised by the European powers ; the convention between 
Russia and Austria, concluded in 1840, is not binding 
on England -, and the unanimous settlement of the ge- 
neral interests of Europe, in 1815, is the only contract 
in which we participated. We therefore possess an un- 
deniable right to claim, and even to enforce, its fulfil- 
ment, and we are invested with a legal title to exercise 
a direct influence over the state of the bar at Sulina, for 
we have never divested ourselves of the rights acquired 
by us through the treaty of Vienna, as Austria has done 
by her special convention with Russia. 

It has been argued that the regulations in the treaty of 
Vienna regarding the navigable rivers in Europe, are not 
applicable to the Danube, because, at the time when it was 
concluded, that river was virtually closed : all provisions, 
coming from whatever country, could not then, by Turkish 
law, be removed from a Turkish port, while every other 
article of exchange had to pay three per cent, export 
duties to Turkey ; and because, Turkey not having been 
in any way a party to the treaty of Vienna, the applica- 
tion of it to the navigation of the Danube was never 
demanded by her. How then can it be just, it is said, 
that a new rule should be applied merely on account of 
a change having taken place in the possession? It is 
perfectly true that, in every treaty which can affect the 
navigation of the Danube, Turkey should be a party, as 
she is deeply interested in obtaining facilities on the op- 
posite bank, which she is willing to grant on her own ; 
but still the treaty of Vienna is explicit; no one can 


deny that the Danube is a navigable river of Europe, and 
as such it is included in the collective bond. The pecu- 
liar circumstances connected with the lower part of its 
course did not prevent the application of the treaty where 
it flows through Germany ; and it is a reductio ad ah- 
surdum to allege that a general principle for navigation 
can be applied to one part of a river and not to another, 
that other being also the most navigable ; unless a spe- 
cial clause of exclusion exists, which is not the case with 
regard to the Danube. Even supposing that it really 
was not navigable at the time when the treaty was con- 
cluded, and that it had subsequently acquired that quality, 
it must now necessarily fall under the conditions laid down 
for all the navigable rivers in Europe. 

England was not called upon to participate in the 
special convention, and she would never have sanctioned 
it if she had been party to it, as she could not reasonably 
expect that Russia would facilitate the navigation of the 
river at a great expense, when it must be to the detriment 
of her own commerce ; and Russia knew how prejudicial 
it would be to her to do so, when she made the engage- 
ment ; for in 1839, the year before she assumed it, 1,208 
ships left the ports of Galatz and Ibraila, and only 270 
cleared from her own Danubian harbours of Ismail and 
Reni. The trade of the latter places could not increase, 
while that of the other two might be doubled ; and the 
exports from the Danube, in general, were equal to those 
of the whole of Russia on the Black Sea. It was there- 
fore evident that the arrangement was made for the ex- 
press purpose of injuring the provinces of Turkey, by 


obstructing their trade, while it benefited that of Russia, 
and impeded that of England. These, if one may judge 
by the results, must have been the motives of the cabinet 
of St. Petersburg, that cabinet which professes to pro- 
ted the provinces in question. As for Austria, the con- 
vention was a nullity, as far as she was concerned, for 
none of its articles either favoured or hurt her interests. 
The most cursory analysis of its terms will suffice to show 
their illusory nature. The preamble sets forth that it is 
the intention of the high contracting powers to assimilate 
the navigation of the Danube to that of the other navi- 
gable rivers of Europe. If that were the case, why were 
the other countries, possessing trade in this quarter, not 
invited to negotiate with them, and especially Turkey, 
who is more nearly concerned in the question than any 
other power? Why was not provision made for the 
navigation of all the mouths of the Danube, instead of 
confining their deliberations to the subject of the only 
one which was in the possession of Russia ? 

The second article establishes the right of towing along 
the islands of St. George, Lete, and Chatel, which Russia 
had never denied, although her guards always threw diffi- 
culties in the way of that practice; and it still forms one of 
the chief annoyances to the shipping, by the continual dis- 
putes which arise between their crews and the quarantine 
agents. Austria gained nothing by this. But when it 
is borne in mind that, up to the year 1835, there was no 
sanitary cordon on Lete or Chatel, and that towing on 
these islands was perfectly free, it will be understood that 
Russia thus stole a march by advancing her sanitary cor^/c?;?, 


without the consent of any other government, at the no- 
minal expense of a concession, which was not one in reahty. 
The seventh article fixes the amount of the tax levied 
to cover the cost of deepening the water on the bar ; 
that tax is all in favour of Russia, and not at all in 
favour of navigation, either as regarding Austria, or as 
benefiting trade in general ; for, if Russia had engaged 
to defray the expenses of lighterage, in all cases when 
vessels should be unable to cross the bar with their cargoes 
on board, in consideration of the dollar per mast which 
she received without having cleared the channel, there 
might have been some advantage to navigation, as large 
ships have been known to pay 300/. for lighters, while 
cargoes have sometimes been lost by a sudden change of 
weather; but this condition was not included. Thus 
the bar was not dredged, lighterage was paid by vessels, 
and the tax was also exacted. These evils are of less 
importance to Austria, however, than to Turkey and Great 
Britain ; for the produce of Hungary being wanted only 
for the Mediterranean and the countries beyond the 
Straits of Gibraltar, does not come to the Black Sea, but 
is conveyed by the Danube, above the rapids at the Iron 
Gate, which form an obstacle to its descending the river, 
by the Save and Croatia, to Fiume on the Adriatic, 
whence freights are cheaper, while the expenses thither 
are not higher than they would be to Galatz. This has 
been proved by experiments of bringing rapeseed to the 
latter port by river boats ; and they have not been pro- 
fitable. To Austria the convention was, therefore, com- 
paratively a matter of indifi'erence, but it has been most 


injurious to all other countries, more deeply interested in 
the trade of the Danube. 

The tenure of Russia at Sulina cannot be regarded as 
possession de facto, for she holds it for a special purpose, 
and in virtue of a treaty with another power. Her con- 
duct at the mouth of the Danube is, consequently 
amenable to the censure and control of the other con- 
tracting party ; Austria could not interfere in virtue of 
the convention, as she had no right to dispose of the pro- 
perty of another in concluding it ; but Turkey can call 
upon Russia, on the basis of the treaty of Adrianople, 
to render an account of her stewardship ; and every 
other government which has trade to protect on the river 
is fully warranted by the treaty of Vienna in maintaining 
a system of active restraint on the designs of Russia in 
obstructing it. The question is, how that can be done ? 

The bar of Sulina is about 200 yards in length. It is 
not similar to those which are found at the mouths of 
most tidal rivers, as it is not formed of sand washed in 
by the sea, which, after having been removed, may be 
brought back by the next tide, or by a strong wind ; but 
it is raised by the gradual deposit of mud conveyed by the 
stream ; and in order to keep the passage clear, nothing 
further is required than to stir it, and the current carries 
it off, while it can only be replaced by the slow process 
of the settling of more mud brought down by the river, 
as there is no tide in the Black Sea to drive it back 

Before the conclusion of the treaty of Adrianople, the 
Turks maintained a uniform depth of sixteen feet on the 

384 SULINA. 

bar, by means of heavy iron rakes, which they obliged all 
vessels to drag after them during their passage out of 
the Danube, whereas there are now barely nine feet of 
water on it. Two dredging machines were brought to 
Sulina by the Russians, after the signing of their conven- 
tion with Austria ; they were worked by manual labour 
for one day, and then they were laid aside for ever. No 
further effort has been made at any time, or under any 
circumstances, to facilitate the navigation, although two 
Spanish dollars have been paid by every brig that has 
passed, and three by all ships and steamers. It is even 
said that bags of stones have been sunk, for the purpose 
of consolidating the bar, and of creating a permanent 
obstacle ; and an English captain declares that he acci- 
dentally fished up one ; but whether this be true or not 
• — and it may be true without any blame on the part of 
the Russian government, as the owners of lighters may 
have done it for their own interest — the fact of the inten- 
tion of Russia to impede the Danubian trade is suf- 
ficiently demonstrated by her having allowed the mouth 
of the river to be almost completely closed, without 
taking any steps to obviate that result. 

The Austrian Steam Navigation Company tried to 
avoid the Sulina altogether in their trade between Vienna 
and Constantinople, by disembarking their goods and 
passengers at Chernevodo, and transporting them by land 
to Kustendje, gaining thus two full days on the voyage; 
but the idea has been abandoned, in consequence of the 
inadequacy of the latter harbour, where there was great 
difficulty in loading and embarking them in rough 

ST. George's. 385 

weather. Were the port improved, which is said to be 
practicable at a small expense, the steam trade might 
emancipate itself from the thraldom of Russia by per- 
fecting this line; but it would never be suitable for 
general commerce. 

The same company has now turned its attention to the 
St. George's or southernmost mouth of the Danube, which 
is being sounded and surveyed with the view of avoiding 
the Sulina, by taking the former channel on the Turkish 
side of the Delta. The first objection to this scheme 
is the impossibility of having a town or station on this 
mouth for the convenience of the shipping, unless, indeed, 
Turkey were to act with as little regard for her engage- 
ments as Russia does. The 3d article of the treaty of 
Adrianople proclaims the navigation of the St. George's 
branch free to the merchant vessels of all nations, as 
also the ships of war of Turkey and Russia; and it 
determines that on the Turkish bank the country shall 
remain uninhabited for tw^o leagues from the river, as 
high as the junction of the St. George's with the Sulina 
branch, while on the islands of the Delta, which are 
neutral, no establishment or building is to be erected, 
excepting for the purposes of quarantine. Russia ob- 
serves the conditions of this latter clause, in so far as she 
does not raise any stone buildings on the Delta for other 
purposes ; but a town of w^ooden houses has risen into 
existence at Sulina, which, though very necessary for the 
shipping, can hardly be classed as a quarantine esta- 
blishment alone. If Turkey cannot form a similar settle- 
ment at the mouth of St. George, that channel cannot 

VOL. I. c c 


be made available. Its entrance is rendered difficult and 
dangerous by banks of mud, which extend into the sea 
from two miles and a half to three miles, and there are 
no landmarks to assist the navigation, while the shifting 
nature of the shoals would oblige all vessels to feel their 
way into the river by sounding with a boat, and only with 
light and favourable winds. The depth of the water, 
moreover, does not exceed four feet in some places, which 
would entail more dredging than at the Sulina mouth. 
Another obstacle is the nature of the banks, which, for 
about ten miles up the stream, are so rough and irre- 
gular, that towing would not be easy; and on the whole, 
the difficulties are estimated to be greater than the 

A suggestion has appeared in the Journal de Constan- 
tinopley that the Porlitsa mouth might be made use of, 
and that, by passing through the Lake Easim, the St. 
George's branch might be reached by that which is called 
the Dunavez. But independently of that want of a suit- 
able depth of water which exists at all the mouths of the 
Danube, this passage would prove exceedingly incon- 
venient, on account of the impossibility of towing on the 
lake, which would oblige sailing vessels to wait for a fair 

The only other branch of the Danube is the Kilia, or 
most northern, which discharges itself into the Black 
Sea by no less than seven mouths, and the water is con- 
sequently very shallow at each of them, as their breadth 
is considerable. It is said that Russia projects rendering 
this branch navigable for the trade of her town of Ismael, 


which is on the Kiha branch. If the Sulina mouth 
were kept open, the general navigation of the river would 
be but little affected by the change ; but if Russia con- 
tinues to obstruct the Sulina with impunity, the opening 
of the Kilia would throw the whole Danubian trade 
under her immediate and indisputable control ; and such 
is, probably, the motive of her alleged intention. 

The clearing of the Sulina bar, therefore, becomes a 
question of paramount importance to all nations trading 
on the Danube, and besides it, there are also the shoals 
of Aragany, in the same branch, which require to be 
removed. They lie about six miles below^ the separation 
of the channels, and they are formed by an artificial 
deviation of the current, wdiich was made for the pur- 
pose of fishing. There are at present only nine feet of 
water on them, and they might easily be carried off by 
closing that short channel called the Papadia, or by 
merely raking the mud, in the same manner as was the 
custom at Sulina when the Turks possessed it. Indeed, 
this seems to be the only process necessary for the secu- 
rity and economy of the Danubian trade in the Sulina 
branch, which would be kept in perfect order by employ- 
ing a small steamer to drag rakes over the bar and the 
shoals. The expense would be covered by a moderate 
tax on vessels ; and there would be no difficulty in 
finding a company of contractors who would undertake 
it, while a commission might be named by the govern- 
ments connected with the trade, in order that the respec- 
tive commissioners might watch over the interests of their 
country, such as exists on the Rhine. The convention 

cc 2 


between Russia and Austria, having been made for ten 
years, it has now expired, and the time has come when 
the subject should be taken into serious consideration 
by all whom it may concern. Its importance to Great 
Britain can easily be proved. 

The average number of British vessels coming annually 
to the Danube was only eight about ten years ago, and 
even those could not always find cargoes for the United 
Kingdom. The last three years show an average of 
215, besides 150 foreign ships per annum also carrying 
grain to England. There is, moreover, every apparent 
prospect of a steady increase of our trade with the 
Danubian ports, in spite of the great disadvantages en- 
tailed upon it by Russia. 

These disadvantages are positive and palpable. A 
British ship laden with 1,000 quarters of wheat draws 
about thirteen feet of water, and one carrying 2,000 
requires at least eighteen to float her over the shoals and 
the bar; it is, therefore, very rare that a vessel bound 
for England, can get out of the Danube without incur- 
ring the expense of lighterage. The amount depends, 
of course, on the quantity of cargo, but it has varied 
from 200/. to 300/. in some cases. This is not the only 
evil, however ; for if it should come on to blow during 
the trans-shipment at Sulina, the vessel must get up her 
anchor, or slip it, and stand out to sea if she can ; and 
if she cannot do that, she must go on shore, as has 
occurred more than once. The lighters, in the mean- 
time, are left to make the best of their way into the 
river again, and in so doing they are sometimes lost. 


with all the grain they may contain. When saved, the 
wheat rarely escapes being damaged, and it is generally 
disposed of at a losing price to speculators, who avail 
themselves of these frequently-recurring opportunities to 
take advantage of the embarrassing position in which 
our shipmasters are thus placed. 

In consequence of these difficulties and risks, freights 
for England are 135. per quarter at Galatz, while they 
are only 85. Qd. at Odessa ; the difference in the length 
of the voyage, were there no such impediments, being 
equivalent to \s., or at most 1^. Gr/. The additional in- 
surance demanded amounts to M. per quarter ; a con- 
siderable sum on 300 or 400 cargoes which we draw 
from the Danube ; and the trouble and annoyance occa- 
sioned deters a great number of vessels from seeking 
freights at the Danubian ports. The loss to the princi- 
pality of Moldavia on this last account alone, has been 
calculated by a high authority at no less than 300,000/. 
during the past year, which is a sample of the benefits 
of Russian protection ; and, if the province that produces 
suffers thus, the country, which consumes, must neces- 
sarily be a loser in a proportionate ratio. Are not these 
sufficient inducements for a government to take steps for 
the relief of a branch of its trade? — and will commercial 
injury be submitted to from the political ambition of 
another power without a struggle to prevent^ it ? Surely 
the subject is worthy of notice, and the advantages to be 
derived cannot be considered insignificant. The import- 
ance of the Danubian trade appears to be somewhat 
underrated ; and if public attention can be drawn to it, 
a better appreciation may be made. 


Our Danubian trade cannot be considered unim- 
portant, when such facts as the following speak for 
themselves : — The average quantity of grain, annually- 
shipped during the last three years at the Moldo-Walla- 
chian ports, direct for the United Kingdom, amounts to 
416,378 imperial quarters. In addition to this, about 
half as much more is generally sent to Constantinople 
and Malta in small vessels, on account of the difficulty 
of navigating those of a suitable size on the Danube in 
the present state of the river, and the grain is trans- 
shipped at these ports for Great Britain ; while a con- 
siderable portion of the wheat and Indian corn conveyed 
from the principalities to the different harbours of 
the Mediterranean, is purchased there for the English 

Such is the present state of the corn trade between 
Great Britain and the Danube, and its future prospects 
are not less advantageous ; indeed, appearances warrant 
their being called highly promising. There has been an 
increase of 3,189,015 imperial quarters in the amount 
of grain exported from the town of Ibraila, which is the 
principal port of Wallachia, during the last six years 
over that of the preceding six years; and, should cir- 
cumstances continue favourable, it may rise in the next 
six years to 3,000,000 of quarters more than its present 
amount. The augmentation in the exports of Moldavia 
at Galatz — the only commercial harbour of the princi- 
pality — has been 717,395 quarters in the last six years 
above those of the preceding term of equal length ; but 
it is not probable that they will increase in the same 
proportion for the future, and it is the opinion of mer- 


chants on the spot that they may advance as far as 
350,000 quarters, chiefly in Indian corn, but no further. 
The reason why the exportation from Wallachia is in- 
creasing more rapidly than that from Moldavia is, that 
the latter province is already much more cultivated than 
the former, and there is, consequently, less room for 
extension. It is even computed that if the whole of 
Wallachia were as much cultivated for thirty miles 
from the Danube as Moldavia is, it might export 
grain to an amount six times greater than the sister 
principality can. 

Tallow is an article of exportation from the Danube, 
which is also of some consequence, and the quantity has 
nearly doubled within the last twelve years. About 
500 tons of cured beef in tin cases are annually shipped 
for England from a factory at Galatz. And the trade 
in leeches from the numerous marshes and lakes is 
extensive and profitable. 

Almost all the articles imported into the provinces 
come from the United Kingdom, with the exception of 
fruit and oil, which are brought from the Levant, and 
iron from Russia. We supply them with manufactures, 
cotton twists, refined and crushed sugar, and coals for 
the use of the Danube steamers. Of the first, there 
are generally about 4,000 bales imported per annum; 
of the second, 5,000 bales; of the third, 5,000 hogs- 
heads ; and of the fourth, 5,000 tons ; while the total 
value of all the importations to Ibraila and Galatz varies 
from 600,000/. to 700,000/. a year. This shows a 
great increase of late years, as in 1837 they only 



amounted to the sum of 97,405/., and they will, in all 
probability, continue to augment, if no misfortune befall 
the provinces ; for by an increasing exportation a greater 
importation will be produced with the means of paying 
for it. 

Until the beginning of 1848, the custom-houses of 
the two principalities were entirely distinct from each 
other; and merchandise imported into the one, having 
paid full duty, was obliged to pay it again on being 
brought into the other. The customs were united, 
however, about three years ago, and all articles may now 
pass freely from one province to the other, excepting 
wheat, Indian corn, tallow, and salt. The exchange of 
these between the principalities is altogether prohibited ; 
and they are not even allowed to be taken from the one 
to the other for the purpose of being exported. These 
arrangements were first agreed on by the two govern- 
ments in 1832; they were regularly confirmed by a 
customs' convention in 1835 ; and they were finally 
ratified by the act of the union of the customs in 1846 ; 
but they were not realized until the year 1848. This 
is an instance of the difficulty of carrying out even the 
most beneficial measures under a malevolent foreign 
influence, miscalled protection. The duties are three 
per cent, on every article of importation, the valuation 
being settled between the customer and the merchant. 

There are also extra dues ; such as two piastres per 
oke on tobacco ; one piastre per bottle on wine ; and a 
smaU town-duty on wine in casks. Besides these a 
most pernicious tax exists at Galatz, which is the cause 


of much annoyance, and of considerable loss to mer- 
chants sending goods into the interior. It consists in 
ten per cent, on the amount of hire paid for waggons ; 
and, as it is farmed, the speculator endeavours to raise 
their price by every possible means ; attempting some- 
times to establish a monopoly, by engaging waggons in 
his service, in order to let them out to the merchants at 
the most exorbitant rates. The importation of common 
wine is prohibited in both provinces, as is likewise that 
of salt, which is drawn in great quantities from the 
Carpathian mountains. Every article of exportation 
pays a duty of three per cent, on valuation, with the 
exception of wheat, which pays four piastres per kilo, 
being four per cent. ; rye paying the same sum, which 
is equal to eight per cent. ; Indian corn two piastres and 
twenty-eight paras, or four per cent.; barley in the 
same ratio.; tallow, three per cent., valued at four 
piastres and a half per oke ; and cattle, horses, and 
sheep, on which there is a fixed duty per head. 

Galatz and Ibraila are both called free ports; but 
they are only so, in fact, inasmuch as importations do 
not pay the three per cent, duty on being landed, and 
they pay it on being sent into the interior; thus the 
inhabitants of these towns consume their cofiee and 
sugar duty free, while all articles of produce are taxed 
when exported. 

The concourse of merchant ships is considerable at 
both places, and, although much was said to the con- 
trary, the recent change in the navigation laws does not 
now appear likely to occasion any great difference in the 



number of those offering for freight from the Danube to 
the United Kingdom. Besides Enghsh vessels, Austrian 
ships, in virtue of a treaty, could load for England 
direct; and Greek merchantmen could also do so, by 
touching at a port of Greece, without causing much 
delay or expense. The only other flag often seen in the 
Danube is the Sardinian ; but, as that flag has a high 
protection for its home trade, it does not seem probable 
that it will enter into competition with the British flag 
for the carrying trade to England. Neither will the 
new enactment create any lasting reduction in freights ; 
because it suits English vessels to come out in ballast, 
and load wheat and Indian corn at 11^. per quarter, 
making two voyages a year, which may easily be done. 
Austrian ships do not come forward to receive cargoes 
for Great Britain under 13^. or Us. per quarter; and 
Greek vessels are not often of a class fit to go to 
England, while, owing to the greater risks incurred by 
bad faith under that flag, a British ship is always pre- 
ferred at the difference of Is. per quarter more. 

A considerable number of vessels is annually con- 
structed at the Moldo-Wallachian ports, and ship- 
building is carried on with a degree of activity pro- 
portionate to the development of the mercantile and 
agricultural resources of the principalities. They are, 
however, dependent on others for materials. The wood 
of Wallachia, being grown on the plains, does not last 
long, and a ship built of it is hardly seaworthy after 
ten or twelve years ; the timber decays fast in a position 
where it is alternately wet and dry, and it costs as much 


as that which is brought from the Bulgarian port of 
Tulcha. It is inferior in quality to the latter, although 
it can be procured of larger size ; and in durability it is 
far from being equal to it, as a vessel well built of Bul- 
garian wood is said to be capable of serving twenty 
years in good condition. Large trees are found in 
Bulgaria, however, only in places difficult of access, and 
the roads are so bad that it cannot be conveyed along 
them ; the timber procured from thence is, therefore, 
small, and the largest ship that can be built of it will 
not carry more than 2,000 quarters of wheat, or 360 
tons weight. Good ship-carpenters are paid from fifteen 
to sixteen dollars per month, that is, about 18^. per 
week, besides their food. Iron-work and copper are 
brought from Constantinople. Tree-nails are also ob- 
tained from thence, not of oak, as in England, but of 
ash. Cordage comes from Trieste or Odessa, that from 
the former place being better than the other ; and the 
canvas for sails is imported from Odessa, while cotton 
for the same purpose is brought from Malta. The latter 
material is cheaper, and when it is kept carefully from 
damp and mildew, it lasts nearly as long as sail-cloth 
made of hemp. The spars of Moldavia are all of wdiite 
pine, and do not stand more than five years' work, even 
wdien well taken care of; they are cheap, as a mast for 
a vessel of 200 tons costs 2/. 10^. in Galatz, whereas 
the same piece of wood would fetch 10/. at Constan- 
tinople. The red pine, of which spars come from 
Eiume, is more valuable, and a mast of that size will 
last ten or twelve years, but it would cost 20/. when 

396 TREATY OF 1837. 

purchased in the Ionian Islands, whence such timber is 
brought to the Danube. Ship-building is thus carried 
on under every possible disadvantage; but so great is 
the movement of the Danubian trade, enriched by the 
prodigious natural wealth of the northern provinces of 
Turkey, that even in this particular a rapid advance 
is visible. 

The application of the treaty of 1837 to the Danubian 
principalities, which have lately been brought under it, 
as the remainder of Turkey already had, will be pro- 
ductive of important effects on our trade, for the regu- 
lation of which it was concluded between our government 
and the Ottoman Porte. The duty on the introduction 
of merchandise, instead of being only three per cent., 
will be increased by an addition of two per cent. ; goods, 
having paid full duties at Constantinople, will not have 
to pay again on entering the provinces; those which 
have paid three per cent, there, will only have to pay 
two per cent, here ; and the importation of salt, not 
produced in Turkey, will be permitted under a duty of 
five per cent. It is to be remarked, at the same time, 
as regards England, that salt does not appear in the 
tariff as an article either of importation or of exportation. 
The anomalous free ports of Ibraila and Galatz will be 
abohshed, or at least the system must be modified, as it 
cannot work under the treaty ; and their suppression 
would be rather advantageous than otherwise to trade, 
as the only benefit they offer is, that the merchant who 
imports, not being called upon to pay duty until he 
sends his goods into the interior, gains time to make his 


payments ; while the disadvantage is, that people from 
the country cannot freely purchase for their small wants, 
because they must either go to the custom-house in town, 
and there pay the duty, taking a permit to pass the 
gates at a great loss of time and trouble, or pay at the 
gate, where the custom-house agents exact an arbitrary 
duty, always higher than that which they are entitled to. 
This circumstance is said to diminish, very considerably, 
the retail trade of the town, the consumption of the in- 
terior, and consequently the importation of the province. 
All excise duties will be taken off, excepting, perhaps, 
that on tobacco, which, being a product of Turkey, may 
still be liable to a small tax of this kind ; and the duty 
on the hire of waggons for the transport of goods into 
the interior must fall, which will be a great relief to 
trade. Articles of exportation will have to pay under 
the treaty nine per cent, on arriving at the port, and 
three per cent, on being shipped; and the merchant 
will be free to purchase in Wallachia, Moldavia, or 
Bulgaria, on equal terms, which he cannot do now, on 
account of the different conditions in force on the two 
banks of the river. 

The export trade of the Danube will thus be increased 
by that of Bulgaria, which is at present driven to the 
Black Sea by the want of a suitable shipping port on 
the river ; commerce will gain, but a wider field for the 
exercise of her baneful influence will be opened to 
Russia, by the subjection of another province of the 
Turkish empire to her iniquitous control over the 
Sulina, unless the rights vested in other nations with 


reference to the navigation of the Danube be resolutely 

At a time when the belief in the contagious nature of 
the plague is rapidly giving way before inquiry and ex- 
perience, and when Turkey is entirely free from it, surely 
Russia will not be allowed to follow up her designs by 
using quarantine as an instrument, and using it, too, 
with such palpable detriment to others. Can Turkey, 
and those who wish her well, suffer the free mercantile 
intercourse between three of her provinces to be impeded 
by custom-house regulations, framed to favour the Rus- 
sian desire of seeing two of them detached from the 
Ottoman empire, when all the energies of enlightened 
statesmen are directed towards the development of 
trade, as being the only true foundation of national pro- 
sperity ? And in the very year when Great Britain has 
determined to overcome the gigantic difficulties of a 
canal across the Isthmus of Panama, will she quietly 
look on when Russia is closing a canal formed by na- 
ture, and thus crushing the trade of an important part 
of Europe ? Will she not assert her rights at Sulina ? 
If these three subjects are rightly treated, a salutary 
check will be imposed on the crafty advances of a rival ; 
the most opportune and beneficial support will be given 
to the just cause of a friend ; and the immediate interests 
of our own trade will receive a profitable impulse. 
There will then only remain the obnoxious Russian army 
of occupation to combat in the Danubian principalities, 
and the preponderant influence which is exercised by 
the Russian agents over the councils of their admini- 


stration. But the latter will soon fall if the visible signs 
of power are removed, and the Moldo-Wallachians will 
throw off the ascendancy of Russia, which is not cemented 
by common interests, immediately when they see the 
Czar is not omnipotent. Give them another support, 
and they will cling to it. 

400 GALATZ. 



During a week that I spent at Galatz with our kind 
and clever Vice-Consul, Mr. Charles Cunningham, I con- 
trived to snatch a few hours from my commercial and 
statistical researches for the purpose of seeing everything 
that was to be seen, and of a truth that was not much. 
I called on the Governor, and duly received his formal 
visit in return ; a stupid man, with a clever wife to do 
his work for him. And I also became acquainted with 
the Consuls of the different European powers, several of 
whom were agreeable and well-informed men. 

The respective number of vessels despatched have 
been, during the past year, 96 Russian, 133 Austrian, 
1 Prussian, 44 Sardinian, and 160 British ships. 

Galatz is a mere modern town, and the only thing 
I saw to interest me in the way of sights was the Convent 
of St. George, and that was only a borrowed interest, for, 
in itself, it is hardly worthy of notice, but it was the 
burial-place of Lord Byron's hero, Mazeppa. After the 
singular equestrian adventure which supplies the poet's 


theme, he was hospitably received by the Cossacks of the 
Ukraine, whither the wild horse had conveyed him from 
the centre of Poland ; he was then a very young man j 
and he remained with his benefactors, whose Hetman, or 
chief, he became in his old age ; but the treachery which 
he displayed towards the outraged husband who inflicted 
on him that uncomfortable ride, was also visible in his 
conduct as an influential vassal of Russia. 

When Peter the Great destroyed the Swedish army 
under Charles XII. at Pultava, the latter chivalrous 
young monarch was saved during the following night 
by Mazeppa, who led him across the rivers Dnieper and 
Bog to Oczakou, by ways which his knowledge of the 
country enabled him to take advantage of without danger 
from the pursuit of the Russians, while the Cossacks 
under his command were made prisoners and put to 
death by the Czar. He accompanied the king of Sweden 
to Bender, where he died ; but as that town was then in 
the possession of the Tatars, his remains were removed 
to Galatz for the purpose of receiving Christian interment. 
They were laid in a vault under the church. 

A few years later, Galatz was sacked by the Turks, 
who were then engaged in the campaign of the Pruth 
against Peter the Great, and the tomb of Mazeppa was 
opened in the hope of finding objects of value in it. 
The Moldavian contemporary historian, Nicholas Costin, 
asserts that his bones were then thrown out on the bank 
of the Danube; but it appears that in 1835, the slab 
on which his name with the eagle of Ukraine was 
engraved, was again raised for the purpose of burying 

VOL. I. D D 

402 ROMAN FOllT 

a Moldavian Boyar in the vault, and the Hetman's skull 
vras found. The stone afterwards came into the posses- 
sion of one of the Ghikas who had collected several pieces 
of sculpture connected with the history of these countries, 
and it may still be seen in the courtyard of his house at 

On leaving Galatz we followed a north-westerly 
direction, passing the old quarantine establishment, 
which is now a factory for preserving meat in the pos- 
session of a Hungarian Jew, who purchases cattle at 
a low price in the Danubian provinces, and packs them 
up in tin cases for the consumption of our sailors, 
according to a contract with the Admiralty. The process 
he employs was discovered in a singular manner ; a house 
had been burnt down in which the dinner was being 
cooked at the time, and when the ruins were excavated 
a year afterwards for the purpose of rebuilding it, a sauce- 
pan was found buried in the rubbish, with some meat in 
it perfectly fresh : by repeated experiments it w^as ascer- 
tained by an enterprising Englishman exactly what 
degree of boihng was necessary to produce this result, 
and he commenced applying' his discovery to an extensive 

We passed to the right of. the confluence of the Sereth 
and Danube, where I saw some pretty gardens, and, 
keeping on the height, we reached an ancient Roman 
fort, now called Ghertina, which I had heard of as being 
likely to repay the trouble of a close inspection, and in 
which I was by no means disappointed. 

It appears that this was the town of Caput Bo vis, 


which was built by BeHsarius, for the protection of the 
Roman colonies in Dacia, against the invasion of the 
Barbarians. The position is defensible, being a headland 
jutting on the valley of the Sereth from the higher 
level of the upper plain, in form resembling the skull of 
an ox, and supplying, as is supposed, the prototype of 
the armorial emblem of the province. This high penin- 
sula seems to have been surrounded by a massive wall, the 
blocks of stone composing it having been removed for the 
purpose of paving the streets of Galatz ; it is united to 
the neighbouring heights by an isthmus of masonwork, 
which seems at one part to have been a drawbridge; 
and two walls descended to the river Sereth, enclosing 
a large space, where foundations of houses indicate that 
a lower town had once stood. Catacombs still exist in 
the ancient citadel, and they were probably the burial- 
places of persons of high rank ; for urns, lamps, small 
statues, and inscriptions have been found in them of 
excellent workmanship, and they have been appropriated 
by different collectors of antiquities at Jassy. A subter- 
raneous communication descends to the town, and the 
lower entrance to it is defended by a curious triangular 
tower, the lower story of which is on a level with the 
bank of the river, and so near it that the passage under- 
ground was probably used as a means of supplying the 
fortress with water. The ruins of a bath stood near, 
with an aqueduct and leaden pipes ; and the remains of 
a small temple, dedicated apparently to Cupid, as a 
bronze figure of that god had been dug up near them, 
showed that the place dated after the decline of art, so 

r> D 2 


clumsy were the short shafts of the cohimns, and so 
ungraceful the plan, which was neither a square nor a 
well-proportioned oblong. Further east were the frag- 
ments of a monument to Caius Aurelius Verus, with the 
following inscription : — 


and towards the west are to be seen some vestiges of a 
large temple of the Ionic order, where a bronze statue of 
Ceres was found, besides several bas-reliefs on marble, 
representing chariot races, and other such subjects. A 
great number of coins have been dug up here during the 
removal of stones to Galatz, as I was told ; they were 
principally of Trajan, Antoninus Pius, Antonius Augus- 
tus, Diocletian, Constantine, and Arcadius ; which proves 
that Dacia was not altogether evacuated by the Romans 
under Aurelian, as some historians assert, and that this 
fort was garrisoned by them down to the epoch of Con- 
stantine the Great, at least. 

Soon after quitting Caput Bovis, or Ghertina, as it 
is now called, w^e came to the river Sereth, whose 
course we followed for several miles. It was thirty 
yards across, and apparently not more than five or six 
feet deep ; the stream not rapid, and the banks low. 
On the plain were a considerable number of villages, 
some of them large and apparently prosperous ; the cot- 
tages were much better than those in Wallachia, and 
there was an air of well-being about the peasantry 
which is sought for in vain in the sister province. Mol- 


davia seems also to be much more thickly peopled and 
better cultivated, which is said to be owing to the 
greater care bestowed on their estates by the proprietors. 
The forests which were traversed were of older growth 
than in Wallachia, where w^ood is not allowed to attain 
a proper size, as it is cut every seventh year by the 
spendthrift and needy Boyars. Here landlords reside 
more in the villages, and encourage the tilling of their 
property, while there they generally let their farms to 
greedy speculators, receiving their rent from them in 
advance, to supply the means of hving in luxury at 
Bucharest ; a lease is sometimes granted at a reduced rate, 
on condition of its payment for six years by anticipation, 
and no sohcitude is felt for the condition of the peasant, 
who is ground down by the farmer's extortion. But in 
Moldavia a different system prevails, and its beneficial 
results are visible in the general aspect of the countrj^ 
which is widely different from that of Wallachia, being 
more European in all its features, and evidently further 
advanced in the development of its resources. 

We overtook a multitude of waggons laden with enor- 
mous wine-casks, dragged along by several pairs of 
oxen ; others full of rock salt, in blocks of two or three 
cubic feet, were slowly proceeding on their way to 
Galatz, drawn by twelve horses, in three lines four 
abreast, and driven by two boors, one riding on the 
near leader, and the other on one of the wheelers ; while 
we occasionally met patriarchal families of Jews, travel- 
ling in a sort of Noah's ark on wheels, which generally 
contained at least twenty women and children, besides 


winged bipeds of many kinds from the poultry yard, 
with their trunks slung outside, as it were on davits, 
as men-of-war carry their boats. These sons of Israel 
showed their good sense with respect to the number of 
horses required, by taking the opposite extreme of 
making two, or at most three, convey them all, instead 
of having at least eight to pull a carriage with one or 
two persons in it, as the Moldavians and Wallachians 
invariably do. Towards noon we saw camps of waggons, 
their drivers sitting round a cauldron in which they 
were boiling their dinner of mamalinga, a kind of stir- 
about made of Indian meal, like the Italian polenta, 
while their horses, buffaloes, and cattle grazed at liberty ; 
and I remarked one party of Moldavians seated precisely 
in the attitude of the ancient Romans, as they partook 
of their repast. We changed horses at the village of 
Serdar, and thence proceeded to that of Tsurbar, which 
is situated on a small lake, with several islands in it. 
The peasants were still engaged in the operation of 
treading out their corn by driving horses over it in 
a circle. We now quitted the plain, and entered on a 
considerable extent of pasture land, rising in green 
hillocks, with streams and ponds in most of the hollows, 
and numerous hamlets scattered about. The lofty Car- 
pathian range appeared on the left, scarcely fifteen miles 
distant, and the low hills of Bessarabia might occasion- 
ally be distinguished beyond the river Pruth, on the 
right, from some of the ridges ; thus Austria and Hussia 
were both visible at the same time from the centre 
of the narrow strip of Ottoman territory which lies 

LAFUNT^. 407 

between them. We scampered gaily along 'on the soft 
grass, sometimes plungmg into little marshes, and 
charging brooks in true steeple-chase style. There were 
several flocks of sheep to be seen, and they were ap- 
parently of a good breed. When moving from one place 
to another, they were not driven as in England, and no 
aggravating dogs barked at them, but they followed 
their shepherd, who walked in front, and they quickened 
their pace wiien he called to them ; reminding one of 
the parable in which our Saviour likens himself to the 
shepherd who " goeth before them, and the sheep follow 
him, for they know his voice." 

We came again upon one of the everlasting plains 
which are so characteristic of the Danubian provinces ; 
the culture of maize seemed to be interminable, for the 
stubble of the Indian corn surrounded us uninterruptedly 
for many miles ; and waggons, laden with the ears in a 
species of wattled basket, formed by the stalks raised 
seven or eight feet above the wheels, with a child or two 
generally sitting on the top of the w^hole, were creaking 
along at the slow foot-pace of oxen or buffaloes. 

Our next post station was Lafunte ; where I observed 
a complete farm-yard, having the appearance of a German 
settlement. Here commenced the only good mac- 
adamised road that I had seen in the principalities, and 
workmen were engaged in extending it towards Galatz, 
which town it is expected to reach next year. The pos- 
tilions would not drive on it, however, until I insisted 
on their doing so; they preferred galloping through 
the wood on a line parallel to the road ; and a v\ild and 


exciting race it was, brushing under the low branches, and 
tearing through the underwood, with more sudden shocks 
against straggHng roots than suited either the wheels or 
the springs of the drosky ; for the spokes of the former 
were beginning to rattle ominously in their sockets, and 
a loud crack had indicated that a leaf of the latter had 
actually given way, before I could prevail on the drivers 
to take the way that was ready made for them instead of 
making one for themselves. 

At the small town of Tekutsh, which we soon reached, 
the little Jew busied himself in cording the disabled 
spring, while I walked about the streets. They were 
broad and straight; several handsome houses had been re- 
cently built ; and there were three or four large churches : 
but it was a small place, and possessed very little interest 
for a traveller, however easily he may be satisfied. 

What attracted my attention much more than the 
statistics of Tekutsh was the flight of storks, which I 
watched for some time heavily winging their way in 
search of their winter quarters on the Nile : they flew in 
long lines of single files high up in the air, each detach- 
ment under the guidance of a leader, whose every devia- 
tion from the straight course was scrupulously imitated 
by his followers. This migration is considered by the 
natives an unerring indication of an approaching change 
for the worse in the weather ; but, in this instance, their 
sagacity or instinct, whichever it may be, seemed to 
be at fault, for every other barometer would certainly 
have marked it at settled fine. On leaving Tekutsh we 
bade adieu to the joltless companionship of Macadam,- 


which we had enjoyed for about twenty miles, and 
again we scoured the almost trackless plain. 

As the evening closed we changed horses at the large 
village of Tsiganest, and there I remarked a scaffolding 
which I had also seen near most of the more considerable 
communities, but of w^hich I was at a loss to define the 
purpose. I supposed it to be connected with agriculture 
in some way, and I inquired at the post-house, but I was 
mistaken : it was merely a favourite pastime of the 
Moldo-Wallachian peasants on holidays ; wdien they seat 
themselves in pairs on crossbars, which are pushed round 
vertically on a horizontal axle, as may be seen any day at 
the Champs Ely sees of Paris, where it is little thought 
that the descendants of Trajan's Roman Colonies in 
Dacia participate every Sunday in the same rotatory- 
diversion. The moon shone bright as we resumed our 
onward course ; and I made up my mind to pass the 
night in the carriage, in the hope of finding myself near 
Jassy in the morning ; but the storks were right, and I 
was wrong ; for we had not gone far before the sky 
became clouded. A sudden gust of wind brought a few 
drops of rain under the hood of the drosky; then it 
became excessively cold ; I thought it was a mere pass- 
ing shower, but I soon found out that it was a winter 
storm in right earnest. Nothing was visible in the 
horizon but dark masses of clouds rising over the dreary 
moor. A tremendous jolt nearly upset us : the horsee 
had swerved suddenly to the right, having shied at the 
skeleton of a horse, which had probably died on the w^a} 
to the post-house when unable to proceed, and the 

410 STORM. 

bones of which were almost completely picked 

The rain fell fast and heavy, the wind blew fiercely, 
and the cold had become intense. The post-boys urged 
their team ahead. They were twin gipsies of about 
twelve years of age, and their remarkable likeness to each 
other had made me notice them when they mounted at 
Tsiganest, the sombre brilliancy of their jet black eyes 
leaving no possible doubt as to their race. The horses 
galloped furiously, and in the dim twilight they seemed 
to have multiplied to an uncountable number. The 
gipsy boys tossed their arms and legs about most franti- 
cally as they screamed in shrill soprano tones to this 
whole herd of wald horses, which seemed to be dragging 
the poor little Jew and my miserable self, under the 
guidance of two young demons, to — I won't say where. 

At last a light appeared in the distance, which I 
thought symptomatic of the vicinity of some kind of 
habitation where we might find shelter, but as we ap- 
proached it I perceived, to my great disappointment, 
that it was only a fire. The smoke was prevented from 
rising by the wind, and it rolled along the plain in w^hite 
curling wreaths, which threw a reflected hght around, 
and the fire burned bright under the lusty bellows of 
^olus. When we came nearer, something seemed to be 
moving before the flames ; it looked like a human figure, 
but so wild and unearthly, that unpleasant associations 
of the snectre of the Brocken and the witches in Macbeth 
arose in my mind. Others appeared, and we ascertained 
that they were nothing more unwelcome than a troop of 

STORM. 411 

Gipsies, whose tents had been blown down, and who 
were keeping themselves warm as they best could ; and 
cold enough they must have been, poor creatures, especi- 
ally some children who were actually stark naked, in 
spite of the weather. 

A sort of shrieking colloquy was established between 
our postilions and the houseless wanderers, as we were 
rushing past them, but it was not in the Moldavian 
language, and we remained in ignorance of its import. 
One old woman in rags took a prominent part in the 
strange conversation, and she moved towards us; the 
postilions were pulUng up, but Jacob addressed them 
vehemently, and they pushed on again ; he then turned 
to me and remarked that the Zigeuner were an unprofit- 
able people. The old hag ran before the wind, scudding 
under bare poles, as if to intercept us, but whether her 
intention was to ask me for a seat in my drosky, or to 
offer me one at her fireside, is still an unsolved problem, 
for we soon distanced her, and her screams fell on the 
ear fainter and more faintly as they were gradually 
drowned by the howling of the wind. 

The tempest waxed fiercer ; the rain had changed to 
sleet, and the ground became so slippery that the horses 
could hardly keep on their legs, while the carriage skated 
from side to side most fearfully, but still we advanced at 
a brisk pace. I was very cold, and I was beginning to 
get hungry too. The scene was exciting, but it was 
lasting too long ; 1 got drowsy, and at length I fell 
asleep, I believe, with the chilly snow flakes pattering on 
my face, while I was no longer possessed of sufficient 

412 BURLAT. 

energy even to cover myself with the hood of my Greek 
capote. I had lost all consciousness of my position, 
probably for a considerable length of time, when I was 
suddenly aroused by the sound of an unknown tongue. 
I opened my eyes to convince myself I was not dreaming, 
and I saw the repulsive features of several Russian 
soldiers obtruded into the carriage, which had stopped, 
while a lantern was thrust forward in order that they 
might see mine. I began to think that I was Mazeppa, 
and I reflected that I could not surely be far from the 
Ukraine, but I recollected my little Jew, and I faintly 
articulated; — 


" Gnadiger Herr ; " replied he from behind the 
carriage, w^here he was inspecting the broken spring and 
the rickety wheels. 

" Where are we, Jacob ? " 

" At Burlat, Sir, and we are only waiting till you will 
be pleased to show our passport." 

My fingers were quite benumbed, but I succeeded in 
fishing it out of a deep pocket, and it was duly examined, 
approved, and returned. We then proceeded slowly 
along the principal street of the town of Burlat. 

" Shall we drive to the post-house. Sir ? " inquired 
the Jew, who had resumed his seat on the box. 

" Why should we go to the post-house, Jacob ? " 
I replied, but half in possession of my mental faculties. 

"To change horses. Sir." 

" Oh no, Jacob j I have had quite enough of that for 

THE INN. 413 

" Then to the inn, Sir?" 

" Yes, Jacob ; by all means to the iini." 

And the wiry little fellow directed the post-boys to 
take us to a good inn, with as much unconcern as if he 
could never feel either cold, or fatigue, or hunger. How 
he contrived to go through it all I cannot conceive, for 
he had peremptorily declined my repeated proposals that 
he should come into the inside of the carriage, and he 
had even refused to accept a proflered cloak. There he 
sat on the box, but lightly clad, and without an umbrella, 
during the whole storm, and still as fresh, and gay, and 
active as ever. 

I was shown into a room with a stove in it of singular 
construction. It was in the form of a partition, dividing 
the room in two, and it was pierced with a number of 
large holes, Uke the gunports of a three-decker, while a 
narrow space was left at each end to serve as a passage 
from one compartment to the other. It served its 
purpose well, however, as the temperature was most 
satisfactory after that Tam o'Shanter race across the 
plain : — not so the larder ; for I could get nothing to 
appease the cravings of my inward man, except a very 
small cup of black coffee. It was consolatory to reflect, 
nevertheless, that on this journey there were no cravings 
of inward women or children to be appeased, as that 
would have been rather an embarrassing complication of 
my miseries. I therefore threw^ myself on a large table, 
which was the only article of furniture in the room 
besides two weak-limbed chairs, and I went to sleep, 
like a wayfarer taking his rest, with his travelling cloak 
around him. 


When I awoke next morning, and looked out of the 
window, I found that everything was white with snow ; 
but the fury of the storm was abated, and the large 
flakes fell softly to the ground. It was not very cold, 
and as the sky was clear, I had every prospect of being 
able to continue my journey without impediment. 
When the horses were being prepared I strolled about 
the town. It is not large, but Burlat is a central 
grain market, and the streets were crowded with buyers 
and sellers, for this was the season for the disposal of 
the crops. The houses are built in regular lines, and 
have a substantial appearance, though I saw none very 
Remarkable either for size or for beauty. 

On driving a couple of miles on our road, we came to 
the village of Slobadji, the property of one of the 
richest magnates of Moldavia, whose extensive and 
handsome mansion stood amidst a multitude of wretched 
hovels, typical of social distinctions to a degree that 
would have driven Ledru RoHin or Mazzini, even still 
more crazy, if either of them had been with me instead 
of my poor little Jew, who expressed the greatest 
veneration for the wealth of^the Boyar when he told me 
who he was. We met the lord of this small despotism 
driving in his carriage to Burlat. It was without 
springs. Two servants, enfurred like their master, sat 
on the box, and the driver rode postihon on one of the 
wheelers, with three leaders before him. They were 
very fine horses, apparently of German breed. I re- 
marked here the manner in which Indian corn is stored ; 
four poles are stuck in the ground, and the long stalks 
of maize are interwoven between them, forming a basket 

VASLUl. 415 

as big as a good-sized house, which is filled with the 
ears, and thatched over. The cultivation of this plant 
was universal, uninterrupted even by a ditch for miles 
together, and a whole range of low hills on our right 
was literally one stubble-field. 

We passed the post-station of Docatina, where there 
was a large oriental-looking Jclian for travellers ; but we 
did not stop longer than was necessary for changing 
horses, as I was anxious to reach Jassy that night, and 
our provision for the sustenance of exhausted nature 
consisted only in the purchase of a large sausage and 
a loaf of bread, which I calculated would serve our 
purpose without entailing a loss of time. I had for- 
gotten, however, that the said sausage was too nearly 
allied to the unclean animal to come within the terms 
of the Mosaic code, and poor Jacob condemned himself 
to prison fare for one day, as nothing else could be got 
on the road. 

The next place was Vaslui, situated on a height, 
and apparently inhabited by small proprietors, whose 
gipsy slaves had formed extensive suburbs of huts 
around it. We drove on, and came to a nice-looking 
country-house, with its small village of cultivators, in 
the centre of well-tilled fields and rich pastures. Its 
name is Milesci; and I afterwards found that a sort 
of interest was attached to it in the country, from the 
fact of its having once belonged to a certain Nicholas 
Kirnul, surnamed Milesco, whose history is curious as 
recorded in the Chronicles of John Neculce : — 

During the administration of Prince Stephanitza, that 


is about the year 1660, lived a Boyar of great learning 
and of large fortune ; he never appeared in public without 
a retinue of grooms leading the most magnificent horses, 
caparisoned with embroidery in gold and silver, and 
wearing plumes on their heads ; and he was himself 
always attired in silver armour, carrying a Turkish 
scimitar of enormous value and a mace. He was the 
favourite of the Prince, with whom he was in the habit 
of playing cards. But this Boyar, — who it appears was 
no other than the proprietor of the district of Vaslui, 
Nicholas Kirnul, repaid his patron for his favour with the 
most black ingratitude ; he entered into correspondence 
with Constantine Bessaraba, who had been Prince of 
Wallachia from 1654 to 1658, but who now lived in 
retirement in Poland ; and one of his letters, which had 
been concealed in a hollow stick, appeared so abominable 
to Bessaraba that he communicated its contents to 
Stephanitza, after having refused the proposals of Milesco, 
which were to raise a sufficient force to defeat the Prince, 
and usurp his place. The latter, in his just resentment, 
ordered the traitor to be seized, and had his nose cut off 
by the public executioner in his presence, and with his 
own dagger. Milesco, now called Kirnul, or the noseless, 
as the word impUes in the Moldavian language, left the 
country and went to Germany, where he had a false 
nose made so like a real one that it could not easily 
be detected. He was well received by the Elector of 
Brandenburg, but it was afterwards discovered that 
he was in secret communication with the Swedes, then 
at war with Poland, and Frederick Wilham, who 


befriended the latter country, banished Kirnul. He 
then went to Stockholm, and at the request of the French 
ambassador, the Marquis de Pompone, he there pub- 
lished a work in Latin on the dogmas of the Greek 
church, which was at that time a subject of general 
interest ; its title was, " Enchyridion, sive Stella Orien- 
talis." From Sweden he travelled to Moscow, and the 
Czar Alexis made him the instructor of his son Peter, 
then a child. He received the highest honours in Russia, 
and became the possessor of great wealth. Finally he 
was sent as ambassador to the emperor of China, who 
presented him with a plate full of precious stones, one 
diamond alone being said to be as large as a pigeon's 
egg. On his return to Russia, he found the country 
in a state of anarchy, consequent on the death of the 
Czar in the year 1682 ; he was seized by the rebellious 
Strehtzes, who robbed him of all his treasures, with the 
exception of the large diamond, which he succeeded in 
concealing; and sent him to Siberia, where he passed 
several years in exile : but when his pupil Peter the 
Great ascended the throne after his long minority, 
Kirnul was recalled and taken into favour again. The 
Czar purchased the diamond for eighty purses, only 
about 1,500/., and it became the chief ornament of the 
Imperial crown. So great was the affection of Peter 
for his teacher, that when he introduced the European 
costume into Russia, and prohibited the practice of wear- 
ing the beard, he insisted on himself shaving Kirnul 
with his own august hands. The Moldavian adventurer 
married a Russian lady of high rank, and spent the 

VOL. I. E E 


remainder of his life in quiet and opulence. He died 
at Moscow, in 1709, leaving several sons who attained 
high rank in the Russian service ; and his descendants 
are now classed among the nobles of the empire. 

We drove the whole evening among fields in a state 
of close cultivation ; not a foot of ground seemed to be 
lost. But, if agriculture cannot be much extended in 
Moldavia, its produce might certainly be augmented by 
improvement in its practice. After taking a crop of 
wheat from a piece of land, it is allowed to lie in fallow 
for at least two years, and then it is again sown with 
the same. The mode of ploughing consists in merely 
stirring the surface-soil to a depth of three or four 
inches ; and all the manure collected at the farms, or 
peasants' cottages, is thrown into the nearest rivulet, to 
be carried away. The natives believe that it injures the 
crop w^hen applied to the land ; and this may be true 
when it is ploughed in at such a depth, for the moisture 
might then escape more easily in the commencement of 
summer. They admit, however, that the soil is improved 
by the pasturing of cattle before it is sown. There is 
little chance, nevertheless, of any decided amelioration in 
the system of husbandry being effected, as long as serfage 
exists in these provinces ; for the serf is bound to till a 
certain measure of ground for his boyar, or lord, and he 
will always endeavour to fulfil his task as lightly as pos- 
sible. And another great impediment is the practice of 
giving leases for only three years, thus leaving no time 
for the speculator to receive the returns of improved 


111 one respect there has been, nevertheless, decided 
progress of late ; and it is of a nature to promote the 
corn-trade, which was formerly checked by the imperfect 
process of threshing and winnowing, as the wheat was 
ill-cleaned, and consequently of inferior quality. The 
manner of separating the grain from the straw, was, to 
lay a quantity of corn in a small circular enclosure, and 
to turn into it from ten to fifty horses, which were driven 
about, treading it out and crushing it, until the whole 
was reduced to a heap of chopped straw mingled with 
wheat ; it was then thrown up into the air with wooden 
spades, during a strong wind, which blew away the 
chaff. But now a great many proprietors have imported 
threshing and winnowing-machines from England, and 
they find that they obtain twenty per cent, more grain 
from their crop of wheat by using them, besides the 
advantage of having it better cleaned, and kept dry 
during the process of working under cover. 

The wheat of Moldavia is superior to that of Wal- 
lachia; but even there not more than the half of the 
grain produced is fit for the English market, while in 
the latter province at least three-quarters of the produce 
are deficient in condition. Until lately Constantinople 
was a good market for the low wheat of the princi- 
palities; but since the year 1842, when the exportation 
of grain from Turkey was allowed, the produce of the 
Ottoman empire has so much increased, that the capital 
is sufficiently supplied from the country around it. The 
cultivators in Wallachia and Moldavia must, therefore, 
take measures to ameliorate the quality of their grain, or 


they will otherwise have great difficulty in finding a 
market for a considerable part of it. The practice of 
storing it in holes in the ground, which gave it an earthy 
smell, is being gradually discontinued ; and in this re- 
spect the quality is not so bad as it formerly was. 

It appears strange that, while wheat and barley are 
generally of such inferior value in the provinces, the 
Indian corn grown in them should be the finest in the 
world ; but such is the case. The quantity produced 
has much increased of late ; and if Great Britain should 
continue to require it, at a price not lower than 24^. 
delivered in England, the cultivation of it will probably 
go on extending. 

Though rude and backward in their practice of agri- 
culture, the Danubian principalities produce a sufficient 
quantity of grain to attract the serious attention of 
countries which, like England, are obliged to import ; 
and the active trade carried on at the Moldo-Wallachian 
ports deserves the mature consideration of those states 
which are directly interested in it, as she is. 

Night fell, and we were still forty miles from Jassy, 
as the days were now short, and the heavy state of the 
roads, formed by mingled snow and mud unfrozen, had 
prevented our making more than nine or ten miles an 
hour. But it was not cold, and the moon shone bright; 
so we determined on going on, the more so as there was 
no place on the road where we could pass the night with 
any degree of satisfaction. At a late hour, as we were 
traversing a vast and dreary plain, the sound of distant 
music met my ear : no house was visible on any part of 


the clear horizon ; and this barren moor appeared to me 
a singular place to choose for a concert. The sounds 
became more and more distinct. I thought of the 
" chant des nonnes'' Avhen they came out of their graves 
to dance in flesh-coloured tights round Robert le Diable; 
my astonished imagination conjured up the " Geisten 
chor' of Goethe's Faust, and confused images of Milton's 
music of the spheres crossed my bewildered brain. I 
told Jacob to make the postilions pull up ; and there I 
sat for a good half-hour in an open carriage on a desert, 
Hstening to an admirable chorus by the pale light of the 
winter moon. The only thing I ever heard in the least 
like it, was the singing of the Orpheon at Franconi's in 
Paris, where each part was sustained by several hundred 
voices in unison. The air was wild and melancholy, but 
perfectly beautiful, and the harmony was filled up with 
faultless intonation by high tenors, barytones, and deep 
basses. It approached nearer and nearer. At last I 
could distinguish a long black line moving on the plain 
like an enormous serpent, and slowly advancing towards 
us. It might be a procession of monks, but the music 
was too good, and there were no torches ; and then, an 
occasional clanking of steel, and neighing of horses, 
refuted that theory. The next guess proved correct, 
when the head of the long line came close to us : it was 
a numerous body of Cossacks on the line of march. 
These corps have no bands, but what their singularly 
fine voices, and accurate ear for music, can supply ; and 
it is their habit to sing their national airs in chorus, 
when they march, than which nothing could be more 


striking. There were about three hundred of them, 
four deep. I remarked a great number of led -horses, 
those leading them having two lances slung over their 
bridle arm, and this was soon explained by the appear- 
ance of several waggons in the rear laden with sick. 
Poor fellows ! starved and poisoned by their officers, 
both military and medical, who fatten on their privations, 
and enrich themselves by providing for their suffering 
soldiers scanty food, and cheap drugs. 

The Cossacks are a people much maligned. They are 
confounded with the Muscovites, and aspersed for habits 
imposed on them by their government, such as that 
of seeking plunder, which is enjoined as the sole remu- 
neration awarded for their services. They were embodied 
in the Russian army with the same system as existed 
among them, in the time of that singular warlike 
commonwealth of the Zaporogues, whose laws were 
so severe, that the slightest infraction was punished by 
Lynch justice : thus theft from one another, ^or the mere 
presence of a female on their island, constituted a capital 
crime ; the latter being a curious fact, when it is con- 
sidered that in* the same country a nation of women 
once existed who excluded men, if one may believe the 
obscure accounts we have received from ancient histo- 
rians respecting the Amazons. Robbing an enemy, and 
committing acts of brutal violence during war, are con- 
sidered meritorious. Nothing has been done by Russia . 
to purify their ideas of right and wrong ; and they are 
made to serve her on the same principles, electing their 
own officers, and paying themselves as they can. They 


are not attached to Russia, and they still retain a 
traditional hatred of her very name, which dates from 
the time when they were united with the Poles, two 
centuries ago. 

Besides this, they are Ruthenians, and, though of 
common Sclavonic origin, there is neither sympathy nor 
resemblance between that tribe and the Muscovites, who 
inhabit the more northern parts of the empire. The 
ten millions of free peasantry in Russia are all Ruthe- 
nians ; they are bold and warlike, and they are of an 
adventurous disposition, while the Muscovites are timid 
and pacific ; they are physically strong, and morally 
independent, but the Russian serfs are diminutive in 
person, and degraded in character ; and the Ruthenians, 
like the southern branches of the Sclavonic race, are 
now awakening to a sense of their own worth, a strong 
feeling against the Russian domination having arisen 
among them ; whereas the Muscovites hitherto appear to 
be incapable of even aspiring at freedom, far less of 
making an effort to achieve it. To the Ruthenians does 
Russia owe the existence of her empire, for her conquest 
of Siberia and the northern provinces of Persia could 
not have been effected without them; by them may 
that empire be one day overthrown. 

Another hour safely housed me in an hotel at Jassy, 
an infinitely better one than any that Bucharest can 
boast of. 







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